Monday, November 30, 2015

Taylor Made

Hey, guess what, Peggy Peabody was gay more than just that once in 1974. The wonderful Holland Taylor has come out and said in an interview with WNYC that she is in a relationship with a woman. In fact, the 72-year-old actress said that most of her relationships have been with women.

And I quote:

“I’ve been really wrestling with this lately because most of my relationships have been with women and I don’t like talking about them because I don’t like talking about the politics of it all because I’m not political about it. I think we’re ridiculous in this country about it. Ridiculous. And so, it’s awkward because if I talk about relationships in my life or people that have been in my life, or somebody I’ve been seeing for a while or this, that and the other thing, I’d like to be able to just say that, without having to stop and say, ‘so have you come out?’ No, I haven’t come out because I am out. I live out.”
So a not out, out person has come out finally officially in yet another nonchalant way. Huzzah. I will freely admit, I didn’t know about Holland. She never dinged my gaydar in any way other than the general, “Gosh, isn’t she an elegant badass” kind of way. Perhaps it was all those years on the dreadful “Two and a Half Men” skewed our readings on her (though, if that show did anything right it was keep Holland and Jane Lynch gainfully employed for a number of years). But then she was on “The L Word” and “D.E.B.S.,” too, so we have only ourselves to blame for not realizing.

And, of course, we’re all very curious about who this lucky woman Holland is dating, who she also admits she has a “very big age difference” with. I have my theories, and Google (and Twitter and Getty Images, et al) pretty much confirm them. Mazel tov to everyone involved, including us because that’s one more for Team Awesomely Gay.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Weekend Crush

By now many of you have probably already seen this. This video of Adele with the Adeles has been making the rounds for a week now. But I swear I’ve watched it half a dozen times because there is something intrinsically lovely about the whole thing. Same goes for Adele herself, of course. It’s such a delight to have her back, making new music and behind her delightfully cheeky and charming self. Also, if you haven’t already, do watch her sing “Hello” with toy instruments on Jimmy Fallon. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Streamsgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, kittens. Get your turkey (or Tofurky, for all you vegetarians) on – just not on you. For reference, please see above. Before you drift off into a blissful food coma, please consider your very important entertainment options when you wake up. I’ve helped you out in my latest Women & Hollywood column with a list of films by 15 Queer Female Filmmakers you can stream right now (including the above). Check them out here. I mean, it’s that or football. You’re welcome.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hide Your Daughters

Many of you maybe preparing to go home for the holidays soon. So what a perfect time to break out the Lesbian PSA. Beware, small towns everywhere, we’re coming to show your daughters respect and bond over common interests.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Queen for a Day

If you’re ever feeling down. If you’re ever feeling low. If you’re ever feeling blue. Just remember this one fact. Everyone’s favorite former florist. Not to mention the most ruthless queen in all the land. This righteous goofball. Yes, her:

She got to show the Queen of England the Iron Throne.

Yeah, for real.

Now, isn’t your day so much better now?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

So by now you have probably heard how beautiful, rapturous and all-around swoonable the new movie “Carol” is. I mean, come on, we were all already head-over heels in love just based on the trailer. So we waited, and waited, and waited waited waited for Nov. 20 when we were promised its gloriousness. Finally, a good lesbian movie. We deserve this. This is our moment. This is finally our time. But then Nov. 20 came and, damn, it’s not in a theater near me – or probably you. In fact it’s only playing in four theaters and only in New York and Los Angeles.

And, according to my sources, it won’t be expanding out until Dec. 11. Yes, DECEMBER – FREAKING – ELEVEN.

Look, I’m normally a pretty patient person. I mean, we as gay people, waited until June of this year to have our loving unions recognized and validated across our nation. Heck, we’re still waiting for the U.S. government to agree that the very fact of our existence as LGBT people isn’t reason enough or us to be fired. So, see, we’re a supernaturally patient people. But dammit if I don’t want to go all Veruca Salt and stomp my feet while screaming, “I WANT CAROL, I WANT IT NOW!”

Harumpf. This tantrum goes out to every gay lady not living in NY or LA. Stay strong, sisters. Our time will come.

p.s. Well at least all the NY and LA lesbians are taking advantage of their enviable position, since “Carol” apparently boasted the third-biggest opening of 2015 (in terms of theater average).

p.p.s. Looks like my sources where right. Here’s what the Weinstein distribution head said about the film’s rollout.

For now, Carol is staying put in four cinemas. … add “just a few markets in less than 20 theaters by mid-December.” Carol will reach about 100 theaters for Christmas and expand further after Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Like I was saying, patience. Until then, here is another stupid gorgeous trailer to tide you over. Le sigh.

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Imagine a TV show centered on a female heroine that spares us the spandex. Imagine a TV show centered on a female heroine that effortlessly passes the Bechdel Test. Imagine a TV show centered on a female heroine that hinges almost entirely on the concept of consent. Now just go to Netflix and watch it, because that show is “Jessica Jones.”

Having seen the first half of the season of the new Marvel ex-superhero series I can confirm that it is very good, fairly gay and absolutely terrifying. The terror comes not in the standard issue things-that-go-bump-in-the-night and/or bad-people-who-want-to-watch-the-world-burn kind of way we are used to seeing in movies and television. Global apocalypse is not what Jessica Jones is fighting.

Instead this is a much more personal. The terror is intimate in the way terror often isn’t, and also rather specific and universal for women as a whole. This is the horror of a man, a very bad man, who wants to consume us whole. A man who wants to, and effortlessly can, control us against our will. A stalker to the Nth degree. We’re talking too-close-for-comfort nightmare fuel at its finest.

The whole series drops on Netflix today and you’d better bet I can’t watch to watch the rest of the show. Sure, so far it needs more Carrie-Anne Moss. But what I’ve seen is more than enough to convince me that this is the stuff not only of nightmares, but dream TV. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. I will be recapping the series for AfterEllen, so look for fresh reviews each week starting Monday.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Watch Me, Watch Me

So my latest column for Women & Hollywood (which I would greatly appreciate if you clicked over and read here) is about the concept of “The Model Gay.” It was sparked by screenwriter Ron Nyswaner’s comments (which he has since apologized for, since that is how our new cycle works) about the representation of the LGBT community in our media and entertainment. At its core is the thought that – out of fear of the bottom line and/or desire to fight back against negative representations – we have de-gayed ourselves in movies and TV to be more palatable to mainstream audiences.

He makes some valid points in his argument, which can be read in full here. But I think the bigger problem is less of one where we – as LGBT creators – censor ourselves from being our most authentic selves. Though, I have no doubt that that happens. But instead one – especially right now – where were the entertainment industry fails to give us fully realized LGBT characters. All too often we are there to check an imaginary box or to fill a diversity quota instead of being there because we’re interesting characters who deserve to be there.

This is not to say our media landscape if bereft of interesting queer characters – quite the contrary. We’ve got “Orange Is the New Black,” “Orphan Black,” “The Fosters,” Transparent” and other shows are doing it right. But still others have no-impact LGBT characters or, worse yet, tired tropes (particularly when talking about the “L,” “B” and “T” in our alphabet soup of otherness). Yes, that means you “Scream Queens,” “Rosewood,” “Empire,” “Bones,” “Gotham,” “Under the Dome,” “Grandfathered,” et al.

In summation, if you write better queer characters, Hollywood, we promise we will watch them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Cold Never Bothered Them Anyway

I was not terribly impressed with 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Sure, it was a gorgeous thing to look at. But its core was a mess with problematic messaging about the motivation for its central villain and blandly passive heroine. Also, can’t Snow White be the hero of her own story without a Huntsman to rescue her? (Yes, yes, I know original source material blah blah blah.) Still, I can’t help but be a little more excited for its sequel (and, I think, prequel), “The Huntsman: Winter’s War.” Granted, now the central character is full-on said Huntsman. But, goodness, how they’ve upped their awesome ladies quotient. Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, oh my!

The movie, once again, looks like a visual smorgasbord. And if the trailer is to be believed, we finally have an action movie where the ladies, instead of the dudes, drive the narrative. Plus, I’m just a sucker for anything that had women kicking ass. And you really can’t resist Charlize vamping it up with regal wickedness once more.

Granted, it does look a tad like, “Frozen: Elsa’s Revenge.” The cold never bothered them, anyway. But, you know what, I’ll let it go for the sake of the potential badassery.

My only other complaint: The snow-white cast. Just like it’s seemingly impossible for The Hollywood Reporter to think of a single actress of color to invite to its award-season roundtable, here is yet another Hollywood film with little to no (I think I saw a few black soldiers in there, maybe) diversity. I find it particularly galling in a fantasy film like this where the entire universe it inhabits is divorced from the restraints of reality. That’s not to say more realistic films get a free pass, but fantasies like this are only accountable to one’s imagination. So then to still cast a predominantly all-white is just a failure of creativity. Get it together, Hollywood. The world has always existed in beautiful Technicolor. Now if only your movies did, too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Smart Gay Girls at the Party

I had the very good fortune to see Cameron Esposito and her fiancée Rhea Butcher together on tour not that long ago. Word of advice, do so immediately – they are capital “F” Funny. Also, they’re very incisive with their humor. Also super gay. So I think it’s super great (and gay) that they are teaming up with Amy Poehler and her Smart Girls for the new webseries She Said. How great is this? How great is it that two smart gay girls are making a series to talk with smart girls about smart subjects that we should all be talking about in the first place? Great, with a capital G.

Also, and I really cannot emphasize this enough, you should really go see Cameron and Rhea out on tour if you haven’t already. I mean, the side mullet alone is worth the price of admission.

Monday, November 16, 2015

See Through

The thing about releasing shows all at once for us to binge watch is sometimes – because we’re greedy and watched them so quickly – we forget how much you missed them when they’re over. Or, you know, maybe that’s just me. At least that’s what happened to me and “Transparent.” The series came out well over a year ago (Sept. 26, 2014) and won’t be back for another whole month (Dec. 11, 2015). The length of time between new episodes coupled with the fact that there was so little of it to begin with (10 half hour episodes equates to only five hours of TV total) has made me inadvertently forgetful. Like, oh yeah, I really loved that show. Damn, I miss it.

But watching the first teaser of the new season has it all rushing back to me. The humor, the heartbreak, the dysfunction, the queerness of it all. And, according to reports from my Afterellen co-horts, things will get more of all of the above – especially the queer part. Sarah and Tammy are having a Big Gay Wedding and we’re all invited. Yes, yes, I know I have reservations about Tammy. We all do. But everyone else? Yep, now I remember. I super miss this show.

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Just keep squeeing, just squeeing. Look, my love of Pixar and in particular “Finding Nemo” is well documented here. That movie is my go-to happy place. So now that we finally have a trailer for its long-awaited sequel, “Finding Dory,” I am at I-Speak-Whale levels of excitement. Does that make sense? iiiiii dooooooooon’t eeeeeeeeeee-ven caaaaaaaare. Anyway, like I was saying. What makes this news even more exciting is that it will be only the second Pixar movie about a central female heroine (the first was 2012’s “Brave, which was fine but, I think we can all agree not upper-echelon Pixar storytelling.) So, couple that with the fact that the heroine in question is voiced by the Lesbian President of the United States herself, Ellen DeGeneres, and iiiiii aaaaaaam soooooooooo haaaaaaaaaa-ppy. Sorry, slipped into a little Whale again. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gender Fuck Thursday: L’Winslet Edition

I have never met Peter Lindbergh, but if I ever do I would very much like to shake his hand. It’s not just that the famed fashion photographer is quite good at his job, surely. But more specifically its that he is very, very good at taking pictures of women in suits. You may remember some of his previous work. You know, the time we drooled all over our computer screens thanks to the sight of Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt and Zhou Xun all impeccably suited up to sell watches. I know right now you’re thinking back and going, “Wait, what watches?” Exactly.

Now Peter Lindbergh has turned his lens to Kate Winslet. She posed for him for L’UOMO Vogue, which is apparently Vogue for Dudes. All I know is that Peter he has made Kate Winslet look kind of like a sexy guido. I mean, look at all those mesh shirts and copious necklaces and loose ties, oh my! Hey, I’m not complaining. In fact I’m deeply, deeply into it. But then I’m deeply, deeply into pretty much everything involving Kate Winslet, as one should be.

p.s. At least two of you sent me links to this photoshoot earlier in the week (Hat tip, sophie drx & DonaMarie for your vigilance and knowing my tastes exactly.)

p.p.s. Did you check out her shoes? Like, what size are those puppies? As a gay woman I’m experiencing a deeply confusing and yet entirely enjoyable feelings regarding the size of a woman dressed as a man’s shoe size and the correlating size of her, um, other attributes.

p.p.s. p.s. Yes, fine, it was rather disappointing of her to say talking about money and the wage gap between men and women in Hollywood is “a bit vulgar.” But maybe that’s just her British shining through. Or perhaps, since dressing as a dude, she no longer experiences a pay gap. Ahem.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gaying and Selling

Since every store in America is already pushing the rampant consumerism of the holidays on us, why not use it to our advantage? (Aside: Hey, idiots, how can there be a war on Christmas when there are already Christmas decorations in basically all the stores in Oct-fucking-ober? Also if your belief system is so fragile it needs to be reinforced on the side of your disposable coffee cup, perhaps you need a better belief system.)

Right, anyway, sorry – went off the rails on a tangent there, didn’t I? My point, and I kind of have one, since we’re already being bombarded 24-7 with messages about what and when and where to buy things, here are a few I’ve seen of late that I have actually rather enjoyed. Each time I see an advertisement not only embrace but celebrate LGBT people I can’t help but smile. Yes, we’re being used to help sell things. But, not that long ago, the thought of using any openly LGBT imagery to try to sell anything was practically unheard of. Heck, the first ad with a same-sex couple didn’t air until 1994. (Thanks, IKEA. I almost forgive you for making me try to figure out those wordless furniture instructions.)

Our friends at IKEA have indeed kept up the good work, as evidenced by their above commercial. Granted, takeout dinner may not be everyone’s idea of a romantic anniversary dinner, but damn if I don’t fully covet the organization level of their sauce packet drawer.

I also got a kick out of this Campbell’s soup ad, which I saw in real-time on TV and delighted me to no end. Nerdy Star Wars-ism, wholesome soup and gay dads? Mmm-mmm good, indeed.

And, finally, this commercial has been floating around for a while. But it still gets me right in the FEELS each time. Shut up, I’m only human.

Bonus points as well for giving one of the moms a super, duper lesbian haircut. Points for accuracy, at the very least.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We Found Love in a Zombie Place

If there are two things I like it’s a zombies and lesbians. Wait, hold up, that probably sounded weird. I did not mean to imply that zombies and lesbians go together. Nor did I means meant to imply that zombies and lesbians are in any way, shape or form related. Or that one had a cause-and-effect relationship to the other, or vice versa. And, to further clarify, I only like my zombies on TV. I like my lesbians on TV and in real life. So, anyway, now that we have that cleared up, back to my original sentiment. For a lover of zombie apocalypse shows and lesbians in general like me, the two came together in an unexpected but very welcome way on “The Walking Dead” this week. (*Adopts Riversong Voice* Spoilers!)

Now we’ve known the character of Tara Chambers (played by actress and Camilla Belle look-alike Alanna Masterson) on “The Walking Dead” is gay since season 4. But, as is often the case on “The Walking Dead,” we only got to see her being gay for a very short time. Her girlfriend Alisha met a quick and unfortunate end because, you know, zombie apocalypse. But now, almost two seasons later, Tara’s dry spell seems to be over.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see it coming. Romance is sort of the last thing you expect when the dead are roaming the Earth. But, hot damn, if it isn’t great to see. To recap for those who don’t watch: The show follows a group of rough-and-tumble survivors led by Rick (a.k.a. the “To Me You Are Perfect” guy from “Love Actually”) during the zombie apocalypse. After a lot of drama, death and dismemberment they have found a seemingly idyllic safe-zone called Alexandria where the residents have largely been untouched by violence and reanimated corpses who now want to eat them. Tara is in Rick’s groups (it’s a long story) and was even in a short coma. She is now awake and has befriended the town’s resident psychiatrist-turned-reluctant trauma doctor, Denise (played by Merritt Wever formerly of “Nurse Jackie”).

In this week’s episode Tara’s encouragement of Denise came to a head, and the latter had a breakthrough in her new role as the resident life safer for the community. So then she thanked Tara – with her lips. Hey, no time like the present when you’re living in the apocalypse, amirite? Make your move now because zombies could easily eat you tomorrow. Here’s hoping for more of these two. And a long, bite-free life span for our new happy couple.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Music Monday

Mondays, kittens. Mondays. I’m still feeling a little blah and under the weather. But my determination to bring you something each and every week day remains as healthy as ever, even if a little tardy sometimes. So here, after a weekend when we finally saw some much needed rain in California, is a little sunshine. Brandi Carlile. was on CBS This Morning on Saturday and, of course, she killed it. As long as she keeps singing I’ll keep proselytizing in her name. Not that she needs my help. But, you know, it makes me feel useful at least.

Friday, November 06, 2015

My Weekend Crush

You’ve made it to another weekend, kittens. So, clearly, that means you should treat yo self. How about a video of Melissa Benoist, a.k.a. Supergirl, playing with puppies? You survived five whole work days. Treat yo self. What about seeing Jennifer Lawrence totally on purpose accidentally kiss Natalie Dormer? You did not tell any of your co-workers and/or boss to go fuck themselves – probably. Treat yo self. I don’t know about you, but the stupid time change really messed with my sleeping patterns this week so I’ve been tired and rather cranky ever since. But you know what? After treating myself to both these videos (possibly several times in a row), I dunno. I kinda feel better. Happy weekend, all.

(You only need to watch the first 9 seconds of that J-Law/N-Dor kiss video for the good bits. Though if you want to watch it unfold in real time fast forward to 1:52 and then 3:01 to relive the magic in full. Or, you know, just play the whole thing on repeat forever. Whatever works. It’s your treat.)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Theme Songs in Tight Dresses

So yesterday when I posted about the universal dislike by young’uns and old’uns alike of that infernal “The L Word” opening theme, a surprising number of you on said you actually liked the theme. (OK, it was three people on Twitter – but still, that three people like it is surprising.) So, as a punishment appeasement to the lovers of all that talking, laughing, loving, breathing, fighting, fucking, crying, drinking, writing, winning, losing, cheating, kissing, thinking and dreaming, here are other shows all set to TLW theme. You asked for it. OK, three of you asked for it. To the rest of you, my apologies in advance.

Rizzoli & Isles

Pretty Little Liars

South of Nowhere

p.s. Jesus fuck, those credits are long. Like over a full minute long. Maybe if they cut some of that shit down they could have shown more of the women in the midst of longing, loving, lusting instead of just singing about it.

p.p.s. I’d also like to remind people that this, this is actually how “The L Word” actually ended. In actuality.

p.p.p.s. For shits and giggles, here is “The L Word” done “Friends” style. Please also note that the “Friends” theme song is half as long as that damn Betty song.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Youth Word

Oh, youth. Or, should I say, youths. So here’s a video making the rounds: “Lesbians Watch ‘The L Word‘ For The First Time.” It should be more accurately titled: “Millennial Lesbians Watch ‘The L Word’ For the First Time,” but it’s from Buzzzfeed so I guess the “Millennial” was implied. Anyway, the one thing I can definitely agree on is how terrible the theme song was. Don’t worry, wee lesbian youth, even us olds know how truly, truly, truly terrible that Betty song was, is and will always be.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


Exciting news, gay ladies and friends/loved ones/casual acquaintances hoping for more of gay ladies, I’ll be recapping the new Netflix series “Jessica Jones” for AfterEllen this season. I’ve already gone into detail about why the upcoming series based on the Marvel comics should be pretty exciting news to queer ladies, as well as just ladies in general. (i.e. Trinity plays a lesbian, et al). So I’m very much looking forward to the series and hoping for much lesbianing (and bisexualing and sexually fluidity-ing, etc.) The show lands Nov. 20 on Netflix for your binging pleasure, and my recaps will run weekly on AE. So, cracks knuckles, let’s tackle this whole new fandom thing together.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Set Snuggles to the the Rain

So it’s raining here today, which to explain to all of you not living in California, is very unusual and very welcome. I’m off work today, which also means I get to enjoy it in full while curled up on the couch and binge watching some of my favorite shows. So, in honor of this wonderful rain, here is a taste of one of those favorite shows. Snuggle up to some Naomily love, kittens. Happy Monday.