Monday, February 28, 2022

Music Monday: Tina & Cher

Don’t you love it when two great things come together. The metaphorical chocolate and peanut butter of musical icons Cher and Tina Turner have had a few memorable collaborations. But it’s sure hard to top Tina’s appearance on Cher’s variety show in 1975. I mean, those fringe, glitter carwash dresses alone make this clip great. Now that’s how you end a February. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, February 25, 2022

My Weekend Contemplation

I know the Olympics are over and the history books have closed on another chapter of human excellence. But the Beijing Winter Olympics will also forever know for human cruelty and ineptitude. I’m still not over the women’s figure skating free skate. What a horrible thing to watch, and even more horrible for the girl – and she is very much a girl at just 15 years old – to live through.

Every single adult around Kamila Valieva utterly failed her, and in allowing this to play out also damaged every other athlete competing in women’s figure skating this Olympics. It was terrible to watch Kamila implode alone on ice, even more terrible to hear her coach berate instead of comfort her immediately afterward. Around her her 17-year-old Russian Olympic Committee teammates were either melting down (silver medalist Alexandra Trusova) or left confused and alone (gold medalist Anna Shcherbakova). Again, it was terrible to watch.

It felt like we were watching child abuse live on television. And, honestly, we were. Kamila should have never been allowed to skate. And the “irreparable harm” the Court of Arbitration or Sports hoped to avoid by letting her compete happened anyway, but so much worse.

While the ugliest side of human nature means there will always be powerful who prey on the less powerful, more must be done in the Olympics to keep adults from abusing these children. And, yes, doping a 15-year-old girl with banned performance enhancing drugs is fucking child abuse. That alone would be enough, but the ROC coach Eteri Tutberidze is notorious for her strict, unyielding (read: abusive) molding of a seemingly endless series of teenage champions with preternaturally short careers.

I hope the disaster of the women’s free skate this year makes the Olympics raise the minimum age for its athletes. We know the pressure and burden of international acclaim and expectations that comes with being an Olympian can be too much for adults, let alone children. If we’re serious, as human fucking beings, in confronting mental health in sports (and elsewhere), we first need to take children off the field of engagement.

I fell in love with Olympic figure skating as a kid. I remember the “Battle of the Carmens.” But I fell head-over-heels when Kristi Yamaguchi won gold in 1992. I was an Asian-American kid watching an Asian-American athlete achieve her dreams. I still fondly remember the programs from Kristi and Nancy Kerrigan and Midori Ito like it was yesterday.

But the thing about those champions is that in the 1992 Olympics they were 20, 22 and 22, respectively. And then Nancy went on to win another silver (after some, um, whacking drama) four years later, at age 26. That’s unheard of, a champion contending for the gold at age 26? Now the five-year age difference between Kristi and Kamila might not seem that much, on the surface, the maturity and emotional intelligence of a 15-year-old and 20-year-old truly feel decades apart.

If the tricks we demand of these athletes are too hard for an adult to do, we probably shouldn’t be having children doing them either – regardless of whether they can. Abuse seems to run rampant in these high-intensity, highly technical sports that also demand it’s athletes disguise the actual effort it takes to achieve their almost superhuman feats – like gymnastics and figure skating. And that’s likely because the most elite athletes are children.

I still love the Olympics for its lessons in human determination and endurance. But the idea that the Games represent the purity of anything after what we saw during women’s figure skating should be shattered for good. They’re only games if everyone is having fun. And that wasn’t fun. That was all wrong. Let’s try to fix it so we don’t litter the ice with more broken girls in the future. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Oh, and ban Russia from everything - basically. If they cannot play fair (or, you know, refrain from starting unprovoked wars) they should not be there or host the events again.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Protect Trans Kids. That's All

There’s a common misconception that humanity comes together in a crisis. Sure, some of us come together. And sometimes we collectively work toward the greater good. But in truth, crises just reveal who we are. In the past two years, humanity as a whole has shown itself to be an ugly, divided, selfish mess.

At a time when we needed to come together to stop something universally destructive, we decided instead to bicker over wearing masks and rally against life-saving vaccines. Yes, of course, some of you have it together and were great and perfect and did nothing wrong. But too many of us, we’re stuck in our own self-confirming silos where we only consume and spread information that we already believe. Our own comfort of thought has become so ingrained that any facts that contradict them are simply dismissed. Reality is only real if you believe it.

We’ve come to a point where people who on the surface seem perfectly ordinary have no shame sharing that, “Yes, I too think mandating a vaccine to protect you and others from a virus that has killed almost 6 million people globally is worse than Hitler! Send tweet! No notes!” (I mean, how could you have notes? You weren’t taught any history that made white people feel bad, so of course you think wearing a paper surgical mask or getting a routine vaccine is the same as exterminating 6 million Jews! That’s just history, folks!)

Anyway. Despite the pandemic’s negative impact on my view of humanity (seriously, we’re the worst), there are still plenty of things worth fighting tooth and nail for in this world. And one of them, quite simply, is trans kids.

Yesterday Republican Texas Gov. Abbott issued an order that essentially classified every parent of a trans child as child abusers. He also ordered state agencies investigate parents of trans children and required mandated reporters like doctors and teachers and caregivers to essentially tattle on them. Honestly, he said all Texans should tattle on them. Really.

The evolution of Republican wedge issues to trans kids using the bathroom, playing sports and getting gender-affirming healthcare (we queers know all about being used as wedges for simply existing) is as unsurprising as it is enraging. Humanity, it seems, is programmed to take sides as if life was a sporting event, and it’s only point to beat Team Other.

The relief of finally being rid of Trump has given way to an endless weariness about the continuation of all the evil he championed, and those empowered by his reign.

Did you like them separating kids from their parents at the border? You’re gonna love how Texas has now classified all parents of trans kids child abusers who must be ratted out by doctors, teachers and caregivers! Did you like how that Orange Stain said he could grab women by the pussy whenever he wanted? You’re gonna love how we’re gonna keep women from getting abortions even in cases of rape and incest! Did you like how the last administration openly courted those “very fine” white supremicists? You’re gonna love how school boards are now banning books about the Holocaust and forbidding the teaching of any history that might give white people a sads!

Think that’s enough for these so-called culture warriors? Too much is never enough. They won’t stop at abortion, they’re already questioning birth control coverage. They won’t stop at trans kids, they’re already pushing “Don’t Say Gay” bills. I hate that the only way to make people care, sometimes, is to say, “They're coming for you next.” But, they’re coming for you next.

Texas Republicans have decided hurting trans kids and families will get them more votes. If you think they won’t use you or your family if they think it will net them even one more vote (not that they believe in fair elections either, but still), then congratulations on being a rich, white, cis, male assault weapon owner, I guess.

I don’t know how to fix this. But I do know more kind, rational and empathetic people should be mad. We should be furious. We’ve been furious. We need to keep that fury. We need to be so mad that national journalists finally start interviewing us in coffee shops instead of and endless parade of Trump dead-enders. The GOP is great at whipping up a frenzy around absolute bullshit which then gets parroted by news organizations only concerned with covering the horse race of politics and not its actual impact. I wish I could fix this.

If you can, give to trans rights organizations, like Transgender Education Network of Texas. If you have the means to help, help the organizations on the ground. And just be mad. Tell people you’re mad. And don’t stop pushing back against the people who think taking loving parents away from their children for any reason is OK. Because it’s not OK. Protect trans kids. That’s all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Level Playing

Know your worth. True in everyday life. True in elite sports. The U.S. Women’s National Team has been fighting the U.S. Soccer Federation for six years because they know their worth. And yesterday, they won. Since 2016, the USWNT has been legally fighting for equal pay from the federation for player salaries, bonuses and award money. Yesterday, they settled their lawsuit for $24 million — $22 million to be split among players and $2 million reserved for a fund to help players with post-playing career projects. The federation also pledges equal pay rates going forward for all women's and men's national teams in exhibitions and tournaments, including the World Cup.

It’s a long time coming for a team that has had unparalleled success on the world stage and whose players have become household names. Their lawsuit originally asked for $67 million in back pay, but they settled for $24 million. Honestly, if anything, the USWNT went too low because can you name a single U.S. Men’s National Team player? Like one single solitary player? Yep, I got nothing.

But, I know that celebrity is a fickle barometer. So how about we use results instead? The USWNT has won four World Cups — in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019 The USMNT? Zero. Care to guess their best finish? Well that would be a third place finish wayyyyy back in 1930. I am not kidding, their best outing was 92 years ago.

Still not convinced? Let’s try the Olympics. The USWNT has won six medals (four golds from 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012; one silver in 2000 and one bronze in 2020). How many do the USMNT have? Two, a silver in 1904 and a bronze that same year because for some reason we had two teams who competed because why not. So, um, good job 118 years ago, fellas.

So when I say the USWNT should be making more, that’s based on merit. Americans love the myth of the meritocracy, so why not lean heavily into the idea. The USWNT in both tournament results and name-recognition, is light-years ahead of the men’s team. To put it simply they are just better and more popular. Ergo, they should be paid more. Yet because they are women they were paid way, way, waywayway less.

How much less? Nearly half, and sometimes so much less than that. When you made a World Cup team as a men’s player, you got $67,000. When you made a World Cup team as a women’s player, you got $37,500. Then there are the win bonuses. As a man you would make $9,375 for each win against a team outside the Top 25, and $5,000 for a loss. Yes, you read that right, money for a loss. For the women, a win against a team ranked outside the Top Eight would give each player $5,250, and nothing for a loss. Finally men’s players who won the World Cup (which, laughs forever) take home $407,608, while women made $110,000 for winning the whole damn World Cup. And those are UPDATED rates. For a long time the US women made LESS when they won than the US men made when they lost.

You can see now why the USWNT was originally asking for $67 million, and honestly should have gotten it. But, you know what, we’ll settle for equality. Finally.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

FLOTUS Like a Butterfly

While yesterday was all about a bunch of dead white guys, today is a celebration of the First Ladies of the United States. And what wondrous ladies, indeed. The new Showtime anthology series “The First Lady” boasts an eye-poppingly impressive cast playing First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. Playing them, respectively, will be Gillian Anderson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Viola Davis.

Like if that cast alone doesn’t make you want to watch this thing, I don’t know if we can be friends. But it appears the series will not shy away from Eleanor Roosevelt’s personal life and long-rumored same-sex attractions, in particular the open secret of her long-term relationship with lesbian journalist Lorena Hickok. History continues to portray them as “gal pals,” just a couple of BFFs who had shared some 3,500 intimate letters professing love and longing spanning 30 years. (I mean, there’s even a whole book of them, people.)

Hickok, affectionately called “Hick” by Eleanor, rose to be the top female journalist in America in the early 1930s while working for the Associated Press. They met during FDRs first presidential campaign, and after his fourth presidential inauguration she moved into the White House, with an adjoining room to Eleanor’s. As gal pals do, you know. Women supporting women by making sure they can slip into each other’s bedrooms at night. Isn’t platonic female friendship the best?

While you can’t tell too much from the trailer, Hickok’s presence appears to loom large and hopefully will play prominently in Eleanor’s story. Like that scene where Eleanor giving Hick a little spin has to be her showing off their adjoining White House rooms for the first time, right? Basically, I’m very, very excited to witness Gillian Anderson and Lily Rabe smooching. There has got to be smooching, right?
If this series lives up to even half the potential of the combined talent of these actresses then *low whistle* are we in for a treat. Regardless, it’s great to see Eleanor’s true self hopefully shine. Gal pals forever, clearly.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Music Monday: Ms. Jackson Cause You’re Nasty

Honestly, if we were Rhythm Nation instead of a Late Stage Capitalism Nation things would be so much better. Plus these outfits already appeal to our not-so secret authoritarian tendencies. Sure, you think you want to overthrow a school board for requiring your child wear a simple mask to protect themselves and others, but have you considered NOT doing that and letting the rhythm take you instead? Just saying. Happy Monday, kittens.

Friday, February 18, 2022

My Weekend Olympic Crush

So, obviously, there aren’t a ton of tank top-clad athletes in the Winter Olympics. But it’s not like there aren’t any tank top opportunities. Ahem. Also if you’ve got a thing for winter jackets, ski goggles and really thick thighs, hot damn, are the Beijing Games for you. According to Outsports, the 2022 Winter Games has a record number of out & LGBTQ+ athletes, with 36 in all. Team Canada’s Women’s Hockey Team leads the way with seven, SEVEN, out athletes. Oh, Canada (Good job on that gold medal, by the way. Respect). You should sic the team on the truckers — just a thought.

Meanwhile, Team USA has only five out athletes in total at these Games. That includes only two out female Olympians: hockey player Alex Carpenter and speed skater/Olympic flag-bearer Brittany Bowe. The latter, it should be noted, gave up her spot in the 500 meters speed skate to teammate Erin Jackson, who had slipped in the U.S. Olympic trials which cost her an automatic spot in her signature race. Jackson went on to win the gold in Beijing in the 500 and became the first Black woman to win a gold medal in speedskating. Bowe went on to win the bronze, her first Olympic medal, in the 1,000-meter. Give good, get good. Also, just a reminder, Winter Olympic sports are often expensive and require pricey equipment and costly training facilities. Like everything else in life, athletic achievement is intrinsically tied to privilege and opportunities.

Have I mentioned I’ve watched A LOT of Olympics as I was getting over Covid? Because I have. So here are a few of my personal standouts and crushes from these Games.

Erin & Brittany, Speed Skating, USA

Give these two a buddy movie where they skate down bad guys for a tiny northern Minnesota police department or something.

Ireen Wüst, Speedskating, Netherlands

The Dutch speedskater became the first person to win an individual gold medal at five Olympics and is also Family. Am I sneaking in another stealth tank top picture because I love you and want you to be happy? Of course I am.

Lindsey Jacobellis, Snowboard Cross, USA

Who doesn’t love a good redemption story? At age 20 and in her first Olympics in 2006, Lindsey was leading her snowboard cross race when on the last jump she grabbed her board and fell on the landing, costing her the win and having to settle for silver. The move has became a cautionary showboating tale since then. She went to three more Olympics, failing to medal. But this year, at age 36, she finally won that snowboard cross race. And she even took home a second gold, for good measure, in the mixed team snowboard cross race with her 40-year-old teammate Nick Baumgartner (golds for olds!). Best of all, in winning her first gold, Lindsey vanquished those 2006 demons and snuck in a successful board grab on her last jump. Never be defined by your mistakes. Just do better.

Chloe Kim, Snowboard, USA

If you don’t like Chloe then I’m pretty sure you hate happiness.

Eileen Gu, Freestyle Skiing, China

Look, I’m not going to get into the whole “She was born in San Francisco, why is she competing for China!” discourse. It smacks of xenophobia and misogyny because it’s not like it’s an unusual phenomena. The Chinese Olympic Men’s Hockey team is PACKED with American and Canadian players. In fact 15 of the national team’s 25 athletes are naturalized citizens (with some Chinese ancestry or just willing to move to the country to gain citizenship). But for some reason an 18-year-old young Asian woman is the greatest turncoat in Olympic history. Funny how that works. Yes, I know, she may not be fully versed on geopolitical human rights issues in China. But, uh, have you read the news in America laterly? Borders and bullshit anyway.

Kaillie Humphries & Elana Meyers Taylor, Bobsled, USA

Kaillie & Elana went No. 1 and 2 in the inaugural women’s monobob, a feat in and of itself made more so by their backstories. Elana got COVID right before the Games started, and spent the start of the Olympics in isolation and unable to train (or see her special needs son). But she was somehow still able to somehow still win a silver, her fourth medal in as many Olympics. And then there’s Kaillie, won golds for Canada in 2014 and 2010. But then in 2018 she filed harassment charges against a Team Canada coach who she said created a toxic environment and subjected her to mental and emotional harassment. So you know what? She left (and Canada begrudgingly released her). She got her US citizenship just in time for the Beijing Games, where she took gold in the first-ever Women’s Monobob. So, if you’re not happy and have the help, resources and ability to do so, fucking leave.

So, any favorite Beijing moments so far? Happy last Olympic weekend, all.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Totally Jacked

Yes, again, I know I am behind on Very Important Lesbian News. But I was busy participating too personally in this pandemic. But after a long, long, stupidly long two-and-a-hal year drought we’re FINALLY getting some new “Gentleman Jack” content. Granted, we still don’t have a premiere date for Season 2 other than “this spring.” But at least now we have some pretty pictures to look at while we continue to wait and wait and have I mentioned we’re waiting?

HBO has released new images from Season 2, without any context or other information. So because nature abhors a vacuum, I shall fill in the blanks for you as best I can.

1) It’s Lister, Anne Lister *said in Bond, James Bond voice*

2) Draw Anne Like One Of Your French Girls
3) Rhythm Nation 1832 Style
4) Pirouette Cookies, But Make It Fashion
5) I Went from Making Eyes at 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 and the Breaker of Chains to Sitting In Front of a Fire and Tutt-Tutting My Lesbian Sister’s Decisions.
6) When Your Side Piece Gets Gay Married…
7) …And They Can’t Keep Their Hands Off Each Other
8) Leave It to Gentleman Jack to Start the Lesbian Carabiner Trend

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

You Can Bette On It

How late is too late to fire up the Lesbian Bat Signal? Yeah, I know I’m behind. To put it in the predominant sports vernacular of our times, I was deep in my Covid protocols when this Very Important Lesbian News broke. But, truly, all the lesbians would have revolted had they left things on that cliffhanger. Instead, for now, we can put the rainbow-colored pitchforks and torches away. Because “The L Word: Generation Q” is returning for a third season so Bette can finally invite Tina inside…or not.

So, wish manifestation time — what do we want to see happen in Season 3? Is TiBette endgame? Will Dani realize you can’t ignore subpoenas (unless you’re an ex-Trump official)? Is Alice really gonna end up with that dude? Also, please, can we maybe not piss in hallways this season?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Host This

Wait, could the Oscars be…good this year? Yesterday news broke that the award ceremony will have three female hosts: Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall. And, honestly, that’s kind of exciting. All these ladies are great. The broadcast will have each host host an hour of the show — just another reminder that this thing is long and you should just get comfortable and lean into the useless production numbers.

Now, granted, the Oscars (which are only slightly less So White this year) have a lot to make up for. But hiring three women and diverse hosts to lead the show is a good step. Also, in case you’ve somehow forgotten, Wanda is an out queer woman. Representation matters, especially at the Oscars.

I’m behind in my Oscar viewing this year and have only seen a handful of the best picture nominees so far. I used some of my Covid down time to watch “The Power of the Dog,” which I was on the fence about until the very, very end and then loved because — wow, that ending. Truly, it’s the sort of movie that has more impact the less you know. But, yeah, it’s pretty gay.

Also, Jane Campion is definitely due her golden statuette. She’s perhaps the most acclaimed female director working today and the only female director to be nominated twice for an Academy Award. (Yes, I know, Kathryn Bigelow exists — but her credits read like a gender flip of Campion’s. Campion “The Power of the Dog” is her only film that doesn’t explicitly center a female lead, whereas Bigelow has made almost exclusively male-driven films except for “Zero Dark Thirty” because it had Jessica Chastain.)

But how gay are this year’s Oscars? Well, right off the bat we’ve got Wanda shepherding us through at least a third of the show. So that’s pretty fruity. And two out queer female actors also earned nods this year: Kristen Stewart for Best Actress in “Spencer” and Ariana DeBose for Best Supporting Actress for “West Side Story.” So, yay gay to that.

So, what were your favorite movies this past year — gay or otherwise.

Monday, February 14, 2022

What a World, What a World

Well, shit, I caught COVID. After two damn years of endlessly fretting and fighting to not catch this fucking thing, I caughta breakthrough case of this fucking thing. Which, you know, bummer. Because every decision you make during a pandemic is the wrong one, I’m almost positive I caught it at the first indoor in-person gathering of more than four people that I’d attended since March 2020. Return to normalcy my ass.

The good news is I’m past day 10 and feel perfectly fine. I never had a fever or a cough. I was very, very lucky and mostly just had a dull headache, slightly stuffy nose and for the first night I had maybe six to seven very polite chills – like the kind you read about a Victorian-era romance novel heroine catching after running in the rain through a meadow to meet her dashing suitor.

The other good news is I didn’t pass it to either my wife or the one co-worker I had close, maskless contact with before I got my results. So that’s almost as much a relief as me being mostly asymptomatic.

Honestly, I’ve spend much of the past week napping and watching the Olympics. Luckily last week I had pre-written most of the posts. But I just wasn’t feeling terribly Weekend Crushy, so apologies for its weekly absence. I should be back to it this like normal week.

So, anyway, that’s life I guess. While it’s undeniably personally deflating to have caught COVID after all this time (and the continued worry of Long COVID), I’m grateful for science and the three shots that protected me against much, much worse outcomes. I hope you are all keeping as happy and healthy as you can during a seemingly endless pandemic where our leaders have largely decided to let things play out and hope for the best. Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate, kittens.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Sorry To This Man

Damn, I’m going to write about Joss Whedon again. If you haven’t already, you should read New York Magazine’s cover story on the former Hollywood wunderkind. I know, you’re thinking, why give another Bad Man (or at very least Icky Man) that big a platform? Why glorify what certainly sounds like toxic, sexist and even racist workplace behavior? Because sometimes when you let people just talk they show themselves — they really, really show themselves.

While Joss may not fall into the category of unrepentant, irredeemable monsters, à la your Harvey Weinsteins and your Kevin Spaceys and your Bill Cosbys, he definitely shows himself to have a depressingly common view of women. Namely, that we’re trophies for powerful men to conquer, possess, use and then discard. For a man who was put on a pedestal as “one of the good ones” for years and years, it’s more than a disappointment. It’s a betrayal.

He is yet another reminder that so-called progressive dudes can still be secretly (or not so secretly) misogynistic assholes with shockingly regressive views of women’s worth and no idea of how to run a safe and inclusive workplace.

Essentially, Joss admits he slept with actresses on his shows because he never got to sleep with hot girls when he was younger and wouldn’t forgive himself for passing up the opportunity now — or something.

What Joss does in this messy interview (because he is a mess, not the reporter) is his desperate attempt to rehab his media darling image, while simultaneously basically copping to being kind of a jerk. So, you know, that’s fun.

Do I still think “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was a great show that touched on important topics while also tapping into a very specific zeitgeist? You bet. Do I think Joss is another guy who is now essentially high on his own supply? You super bet. Narcissism is a hell of a drug, folks.

Until men stop viewing women as rewards, and stop seeing their own so-called genius as more important than treating people respectfully and fairly, we’ll keep getting more Joss Whedons and worse yet more Weinsteins and Cosbys.

ETA: The “Sorry to This Man” meme is just a bit of rhetorical shade – with absolutely nothing to do with apologizing for, to, or about the man in question.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Movie Review: Benedetta

Since I think someone asked née demanded a review of the sexy lesbian nuns movie “Benedetta” review, well, here goes. If you were expecting something nuanced and elegant from the director of “Basic Instinct,” “Showgirls” and “Starship Troopers,” uh, I can’t help you there. If you were expecting something absolutely bonkers, you were right. If you’re expecting to enjoy it, well, that might depend on how much you drink beforehand. But, again, is you want to see a movie where a Virgin Mary dildo is a key plot point, well, there you go. To be honest, the first third or so of this movie was kind of bonkers in a good way. The fantasy Jesus action/romance hero sequences were almost “Bitch Slap-ian” in their camp. And I mean it has Charlotte Rampling. But in the end Paul Verhoeven can’t help himself. And we’re left with a ridiculous mess of boobs, torture and literal rolls in the hay. Should you watch it? Probably not. Will you watch it, I mean, I mentioned they use a Virgin Mary dildo, right? Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Little Ditty About Bonnie & Diana

Well then, here is something to look forward to. Netflix is developing the new film “Nyad.” The biopic about the life of marathon swimmer and out lesbian Diana Nyad. In 2013, when she was 64, Diana became the first person ever to swim without a shark tank from Cuba to Florida. The 110-mile swim took 53 hours where Nyad endured poisonous jellyfish stings and so much more. I mentioned she’s a lesbian, right?

Playing Diana will be Annette Benning and playing her longtime best friend, training partner and expedition coach Bonnie Stoll will be Jodie Foster. Bonnie helped Diana train, prepare and execute the dangerous endeavor, her fifth try at the record-breaking swim.

Now, I don’t know if Bonnie is gay. All I have is the official bio which said she was a top-ranked professional racquetball player (where she apparently met Diana, who was a top-ranked squash player), she earned a degree in physical education and went on to teach PE. But I do know that Jodie is gay, and that Annette has successfully played gay (I still think “The Kids Are All Right” is a very good movie). So, just in case the bonafides were in question, they shouldn’t be. Granted, I don’t know how well either swims, but you know.

This project is exciting for a number of reasons. One, Jodie. Two, Annette. Three, at least one confirmed queer character. Four, the feature film debut of “Free Solo” documentary team Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin who are helming the project. Five, I mentioned there should be gay stuff, right?

It’s also refreshing to see a film centered on women above the age of 50, that isn’t about their decline in attractiveness, sex appeal, et al. Instead we’re guaranteed to see women in their 60s (Annette is 63) and 50s (Jodie is 59) doing amazing things in their swimsuits. I call that a win. And, uh, I mentioned the gay stuff, right?

Monday, February 07, 2022

Music Monday: Dance With Somebody Edition

Gosh, I loved this song when it came out. Like love, love, loveloveloved it. Like dancing around my room and singing at the top of my lungs loved it. And this was before I had any inkling that Whitney may be family – albeit very, very on the down low. But, luckily, some 25 years later we did get the gay version on “Glee.” Say what you will about thar show. And, trust me, I have. But, when Brittany and Santana danced it was very, very good. Happy Monday, kittens.

p.s. I totally forgot Quinn was in a wheelchair for a while. Oh, Glee.

Friday, February 04, 2022

My Weekend Crush

This week I’ve gone from two of our most dearly departed (Rue and Betty) to two women we demand never leave us (Julie and Carol). At this point, given how many legends we have lost in 2022, I hope we’ve all formed a summoning circle around Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett to bind from any and all harm. Those of us old enough to remember know that Julie and Carol used to be quite a team. They performed live concerts and on televised specials together. And, yes, they even rapped together. No, no more explanation. Just please set your expectations to 1989 vibes and let it all happen. Truly, keep these women safe and healthy forever, universe. They certainly deserve it. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, February 03, 2022

And That's Just That

And just like that…it’s almost over. I’ve been critical of the queering of “And Just Like That…?” since the revival series started. On paper, it would seem like a perfect scenario for LGBTQ+ representations. I mean, I like Cynthia Nixon. And I like Sara Ramirez. I like them both – a lot. But, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure they work as a couple, chemistry-wise. The show has pushed the Awkward Miranda v. Cool Che dichotomy so hard they feel trapped in their respective bubbles. Like, heck, even the production photos have them trapped on their respective sides. (Like, for real, what’s up with that framing?)
Truly, Che and Miranda seem unable to connect apart from all the life-changing finger banging. Instead their interactions too often feel like a remedial “Taste the Rainbow” lessons. Like Awkward Miranda is the proxy for walking the audience through the LGBTQ+ basics or something. You see, viewers, some people have open relationships and some people are non-binary. Say it with us, “Non-bi-nar-y.”

Granted, as I’ve said before, it’s certainly welcome to tell a late-in-life coming out story. But the possibility of Miranda being gay was already explored and roundly rejected on SATC. Yes, obviously, people can change. But here Miranda’s sexual renaissance seems more a product of middle-aged boredom than personal introspection. I realize that may not be their intent, but the execution feels like malaise instead of discovery. Perhaps they’ll get better at addressing sexual fluidity in later life - they have one episode left - so we can only hope. And at least they’re trying to address gender fluidity, expression and identity given the Rock storyline and Che’s presence.

I guess, maybe what annoys me most is how they’ve taken a very capable character in Miranda and made her a nearly useless mess all for the service of someone who is supposed to be totally irresistible (which – I get it, it’s Sara Ramirez). But then they’ve given the “irresistible” character a charisma vortex. I mean, yeah, they’re hip and have an excellent alternative lifestyle haircut. But their comedy is, uh — how do I put this politely? Their comedy mostly sounds like an overly long Medium essays. They don’t actually have, uh, jokes. Also, stop calling it a comedy concert!
Honestly, maybe that’s my biggest beef. That for some big-time comedian, Che is not actually all that funny. But then again, this is a show that had us believe a single freelance columnist could afford a brownstone on the Upper East Side and a closet full of Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos. So there’s that.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Eve of Everything

So. You thought it might be happening too, right? Like 45-seconds into this thing and all of a sudden Villanelle faces Eve and then…GETS DOWN ON HER KNEES?!?

Right, so I’m not exactly sure what she had planned there to “show” Eve how much she’s changed. But if these two don’t at least smooch – and consensually not a quickie on the bus – in this the fourth and final season I swear. Like, they’re playing “Oh My Love” in the trailer. We all know they’re in some kind of love with each other. So, you know, let it happen.

Or, even better, have Eve hook up with some random new dude they’re introducing at the last minute. That doesn’t make me want to poke someone’s eye out with a hairpin or anything… Kidding! Violence is not the answer, usually.

So, thoughts, feelings, expectations for the final Eve & Villanelle show?

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Did You Hear the One About...

Wanna hear a dirty joke? Wait, sorry, I screwed up the set-up. Wanna hear Rue McClanahan tell Betty White a dirty joke? Yeah, of course you do. Of course you do. Now that’s how to kick off a new month, people. Thanks, Rue and Betty. I hope you and the rest of the girls are enjoying the Big Cheesecake in the sky.