Category Archives: People

Hot, notable, or newsworthy

Cute, Not-So-Cute, Cute, Not-So-Cute

Miley Cyrus has the potential to be cute. Not cute like cutesy Hannah Montana, I’ll sing my way into your heart, cute. Just cute. Like, “Oh hey, a cute girl there”.

But that’s only when she’s not doing her “I’m growing up too fast, I’m flailing around for attention, I have Gene Simmons’ tongue and I can lick, lick, lick!” thing.

Miley-Cyrus-2224429

As my mother said: “Be careful, your face might freeze that way.”

After twerking her way in the hearts of no one, with a scattered, desperate, unnecessarily raunchy and weird performance on MTV’s VMA awards, she has released a new video in which she appears nude. The music’s not awful and she looks good swinging nekkid (her dad’s word, not mine) on a wrecking ball. This alone wouldn’t be tacky, but she’s still licking up and down things like she just discovered oral and wants the world to know. We know, Miley. We were 20 years old once. We remember. Just put your tongue away when you sing and dance, okay?

Bay Area Home Girl Kay Ryan Honored

Kay RyanKay Ryan, a former Poet Laureate of the United States and a career English teacher at College of Marin, was honored by President Barrack Obama at the White House recently. Obama, who counts himself among Ryan’s loyal readers,  honored her as one of 24 recipients of the 2012 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medals.

“One of the special privileges of this office is getting a chance to honor individuals who’ve played an important role in my life as well as in the nation’s life,” Obama said in presenting the medals.

I have had the pleasure of hearing Ryan read her poetry several times and she has a dry wit and plain way with often-fancy words. I once heard her poems described as mousetraps, because they look simple and then – snap! – they’ve got you.

In 2008, the New York Times published this portfolio of her poetry, still available online for your reading pleasure. (Hint: For maximum pleasure, read them aloud, even if you’re alone.)

Let’s Not Waste Our Energy, Okay?

Nixon and Marinoni with their son, Max Nixon-Marinoni

The rainbow-hued wires have been buzzing this week with bitching and tsking over actress Cynthia Nixon’s interview with the New York Times Magazine, where she told writer Alex Witchel that for her, being gay is a choice.

Her comment was made while telling a story about how she prepared an empowering speech for a gay audience, and was counseled to edit out the line, “I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better”. Event organizers felt that Nixon’s statement implied that homosexuality can be a choice which was not a message they supported, to which she replied, “And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”

Immediately, Nixon began to be pecked at by the self-righteous peckers of gay rights organizations and the gay press, who hopped up and down and said her statement fuels the conservative belief that gay can be prayed away.

Today, Nixon made a statement to The Advocate, in an attempt to clarify and contextualize her comment:

“My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can’t, and shouldn’t be, pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:

“While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have ‘chosen’ is to be in a gay relationship.”

So there. We made her turn in her gay card so she could be reissued a bi card. Now that we’ve forced the woman into clarifying her sexual orientation for us, we can all feel better about our own gayness.

Why does the LGBT community continually act like it’s Gay Day at Disneyland and the gayest amongst us will go to the front of the line at Space Mountain?

Nixon, 46, was in a 15-year relationship with a man that started in her early 20s. The two have two children together. Since 2004, she has been in a relationship with education activist Christine Marinoni. Marinoni gave birth to the couple’s son in 2011.

Nixon’s story isn’t that different than mine (well, except for all her talent and fame). I also came out in my 30s. I was married to a man, and together we had a child. Since I’m confessing: it was actually my second marriage to a man. I was involved in two opposite-sex relationships that totaled nearly 27 years, the first a right-after-college-graduation marriage to my high school sweetheart.

No one, especially  not a reporter, has ever sat me down to ask if I think my lesbian identity is a choice. But I’d probably say “yes”.

Make no mistake, I’m as gay as the next dyke. But somewhere back before the turn of the century, I made a clear-cut decision to come out and live the rest of my romantic life in the company of women. Life with men wasn’t awful. I suppose I could have kept doing it – and millions of women have, for reasons of security, religion, and fear of being ostracized.

But the question of could I do it again is a much tougher one. There are just too many variables. I’ve never identified as bi because I never pictured myself returning to relationships with men. And, admittedly, I’m the first one to rankle when Dan Savage starts talking about the sexual fluidity of women. I don’t think of my sexuality as all that fluid. Before I came out, I just hadn’t considered my options.

I thought of myself as perfectly straight, right up until I met a woman who rang my chimes harder than any man ever had. While I didn’t have a relationship with her, I was so unnerved, I was compelled to look deeper into myself. It was my own dark night of the soul. But unlike Jonah, I wasn’t coughed up in a ball of whale spit. Instead, I landed on the beach covered in lube and waving the rainbow flag.

So I was married to men. Does that make me less gay now?

Consider this: With the exception of a very few Gold Star Lesbians, every lesbian woman I know has slept with more men than I have (three).

I understand why we don’t want to give haters any more ammunition to use against us, but the sort of backlash aimed at Nixon fractionates us. It divides our own community into gay, gayer, gayest, bisexual, and so forth. It’s a complete waste of energy that could be better spent scaffolding our community, not tearing it down.

This type of reactionary thinking panders to conservatives and will ultimately hinder the gay rights movement.

For example, in a 2006 article in Pediatrics: The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics supporting gay marriage, the Academy stated  that the vast majority of children with parents in same-sex relationships were conceived in heterosexual relationships. So when we talk about gay families, should we exclude them from our numbers? Make them draw a bi card? No, we need to coax these moms and dads out to be counted. We need to encourage them to come out to their family doctors. Then, perhaps the estimated number of kids being raised by gay parents won’t be so wide-ranging, anywhere from 1 million to 10 million in the U.S., and will settle near the higher end (and probably more realistic) figure.

That’s how we gain political clout.

For political recognition, we don’t need fractions, we need whole numbers. We need to throw our gay arms open and embrace the entire damn rainbow.

While we’re at it, let’s all apologize to Cynthia Nixon. She tries to do right by our community. And, she’s more than gay enough for me.

The Closeted Butch and Femme (shoes, that is)

Speaking of Ellen, she and wife, Portia de Rossi DeGeneres, have one heck of a hers-and-hers shoe closet featured in this month’s Architectural Digest.

It’s rumored that the house is currently for sale, but the marriage is fine.

See if you can guess which side of the closet belongs to whom.

Ellen and Keith Sell Cologne, Sort Of…

Tired of over-blown commercials for over-blown scents, Ellen DeGeneres and Keith Urban made their own send-up:

Keira Knightley, The Badass

This new commercial for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle features actress Keira Knightley as a motorcycle-riding bad girl. Yes, it’s hetero-centric (or then again, maybe not?), but it’s sexy and fun, nonetheless. Hang in there for the ending. The music is Joss Stone doing a live cover of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s World”.

Hello, New Wonder Woman!

Palicki as Wonder Woman

Latex fetishists everywhere will get a little thrill when Wonder Woman returns to television. Producer David E. Kelley is working on a pilot that will revamp the 1970s show that made Lynda Carter a beloved icon to lesbians and geeks everywhere.

Wonder Woman will be played by Adrienne Palicki in a new, shiny, redesigned and sexed-up costume, and the pilot will include bonus female hotness in the form of Elizabeth Hurley, who plays the villainous boss of a pharmaceutical company creating drugs to make people stronger.

Oh, Wonder Woman, tie me up in your golden lasso of truth. I’ll tell you anything you want to know!

Many lesbian hearts will always belong to Lynda Carter...

 

Sarah Palin on the Playground…

… calling out Kathy Griffin to meet her behind the bike racks. And, damn, she said “bully”. I thought she was going to say “bull dyke”. Now, that would have been flying those Alaska pit bull colors.

Is this because Kathy Griffin once said she wanted to be Bristol Palin’s lesbian dance partner on Dancing With the Stars? (I would have tuned in for that, and Bristol might have won, too.)

Andro Fragrance Ad Revamped

Moss in Harper's Bazaar, looking back on 20 years of modeling

When Calvin Klein launched his now-iconic androgynous fragrance, CK One, in 1995, the black and white advertising campaign received lots of press. Media comments focused on the downtown “grunge aesthetic” of the commercials, and the intentional visual blending of genders, making it hard to tell the boys from the girls. Up until then, most fragrance advertising was exactly the opposite – attracting buyers with images that were either overtly feminine or overtly masculine, and reeking of an upscale life.

Calvin Klein is relaunching CK One this spring. The new advertising campaign is an homage to the original, featuring androgynous models, a 1990s soundtrack, and a club-scene feel.

The only thing missing is Kate Moss*. Having her deliver the closing line of the commercial would have been the very best knowing nod to the past. After all, viewers like ironic redundancy; it makes them feel like they’re on the inside. (Remember when Bob Newhart woke up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette at the end of the second Bob Newhart Show?) And, Ms. Moss is still hot.

The new commercial:

One of the originals:

*NOTE: Oh my goddess, how could I have forgotten about the cut with Jenny Shimizu! I’m a traitor to my people. Talk about hot…

Oprah Needs to Have a Chat with Taylor Momsen

As part of her 2011 Feel Good Challenge (I’m not sure what that is and I’m equally sure it doesn’t matter), Oprah referenced an article from her own O Magazine, “12 Simple Ways to Have Better Sex“. (Don’t bother clicking over. If you’re reading this blog, you can already think of 12 better ideas.)

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Rosie the Riveter Left a Legacy in Tattoos

Geraldine Hoff Doyle with the WWII Rosie the Riveter poster that was made with her likeness

When Geraldine Hoff Doyle passed away last week at the age of 86, she left behind an unexpected legacy – her image in a legion of feminist tattoos.

The term “Rosie the Riveter” describes not one woman, but the many women who worked in U.S. factories and defense plants during World War II. Doyle was the model for J. Howard Miller‘s illustration, designed to build support for the war effort.

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Glenn Close in Drag. Yum.

Joining the ranks of Barbara Streisand in Yentl and Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria, Glenn Close plays a woman disguised as a man in her new film Albert Nobbs. She recently rocked a short haircut, suit, and tie on the set of the movie in Dublin, Ireland.

Albert Nobbs is set for release in 2011. In the film, based on a short story by George Moore, Close plays the title character of an 19th century English woman who dresses up as a male butler to try to get a job in Ireland. Close played Albert Nobbs in an off-Broadway stage production of the story and co-wrote the screenplay for the film version.

Close, 63, stars in the television drama Damages and has been nominated for Oscars for her roles in 1980s films such as Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction*. She is also known for playing Cruella de Vil in Disney’s 1996 live-action movie 101 Dalmations and its 2000 sequel. Close had a cameo role as a male pirate in the 1991 Steven Spielberg film “Hook”.

* Looking like this, Glenn can boil my bunny any time.

(Thanks to Towle Road for the photo tip.)

Blasts From the Past

Sorry folks, this video is now gone from YouTube. You missed a seriously weird celebrity mash-up. However, I hear the promo is now running on HLN – something I can’t fathom. I always thought that when celebrities signed on for a project this bizarre (imagine a camera pan with Katarina Witt, Tonya Harding, and Glenn Close all singing on a beach together) they included stipulation that it not be aired in the U.S.

Wow. I didn’t think I’d hang in there for the whole six minutes of this video, but the amazing range of people who show up in it kept me mesmerized.

This cover of “Let It Be” is a promo for a Norwegian show called Gylne Tider (Golden Times). The huge cast features everyone from Lou Ferrigno, to Kathleen Turner, to Freddy Kreuger, to Milli Vanilli and Ricki Lake green-screened together on a beach. It’s so strange and fascinating I feel like I have to share it. Kelli McGillis is in it, so there’s our lesbian connection. Everyone is looking older (and quite real). Does that mean I am too?

(Thanks to Boing Boing for this.)

Oprah Mocks Lesbian Rumors While Camping

Yes, I said “camping”.

Oprah and her BFF Gayle King took a recent camping trip to introduce black families to the joys of camping.

Really.

And while crawling off into their Coleman pop-up camper tent together, Oprah cracked jokes on camera about the long-running lesbian rumors about her and King.

Prior to their Yosemite trip, the two were spotted shopping together in REI. Camping gear, flannel pajamas, fishing… if there was hummus anywhere on that trip, I predict it’s only a matter of time before the two of them are seen holding hands in Home Depot.

Come out of that tent, already, will ya?

Why I Love Dan Savage: “It Gets Better!”

Update: The It Gets Better Project now has its own website: www.itgetsbetterproject.com. Check it out & make a donation while you’re there.

Dan Savage is a seemingly tireless dispenser of good advice and proponent of safe, sane, guilt-free sex for all. I am a huge fan of his books, podcast, column, and blog. I appreciate how he reaches outside our community to tweak the noses (or yank the dicks) of the Religious Wrong whenever he can. He speaks out on behalf of lots of other people who don’t have his platform to be heard.

In this past week’s podcast he mourned the suicide of Billy Lucas, a gay Indiana teen plagued, taunted, and bullied by his schoolmates until he took his own life.

Savage’s new It Gets Better Project on YouTube is designed to be a life-raft for teens like Billy Lucas. He is asking members of the LGBT community to reach out with a message of hope, reminding queer teens that their lives will get better but they need to live to see that happen.

This video from San Francisco gave me another reason to be proud to live in the Bay Area:

A Court Date Becomes Kink Art

Baby, let's play court. I'll be Lindsay and you be the bailiff, okay?

I’ve never thought there was anything particularly sexy about Lindsay Lohan. However, there’s something decidedly hot about these courtroom sketches of her recent day in court by Mona Shafer Edwards.

(Even with a pleated skirt and a sweet little hair-bow, handcuffs just make a girl look so bad.)

No cameras were allowed in the courtroom for Lohan’s recent appearance, the result of failing a couple of drug tests while on probation.

Lohan's attorney is on the left. Didn't I already see this on "The L Word"?

The judge refused to set bail and ordered Lohan to remain in custody until Oct. 22. She returned to jail in handcuffs. The wicked red-soled Christian Louboutin pumps are rumored to have stayed behind.

Geek Hair-Cutting Porn

I seem to be on an Alison Bechdel kick around here lately. And, I’ve been struggling with my own inner turmoil about growing my hair out (it’s nearly 2 inches long on top now), since I’ve identified with buzzed hair for so long.

It’s not Demi Moore in G.I. Jane, but watching Alison buzz her own head may be the geekiest lesbian porniest thing to hit YouTube in quite a while. However, looking at the final product, it might be a cautionary tale for DIYers.

At least now we know where her scars are…

Where is Britney’s Vulva?

This is not Britney, but rather a limited edition Barbie of pro-golfer Brittany Lincicome BarbieApparently, Britney and Barbie, two iconic blondes,  share a common trait – a lack of girly bits.

Britney Spears has released a before-and-after photo set showing her natural self, and her airbrushed self (source, MTV UK.)

Along with “flaws ,”such as random freckles, a child-bearing booty, and occasional bulges, Britney’s vulva and hints of nipple pop also went missing, leaving her as smooth and sexless as Barbie herself.

Ironically, the photo shoot was produced for U.S. clothing giant Candies, which rose to fame in the late 1970s by making little molded-plastic slide high-heels, which many still think of as Barbie shoes for real feet.

Candies has also teamed with Bristol Palin in a campaign to prevent teen pregnancy.

There’s some sort common theme that will tie all this together, but I’m hard pressed to figure out exactly what it is…

Oh, Oprah, Come Out and Play

click to enlarge

I’m feeling a little vindicated for all the times I’ve wondered about the personal side of Oprah’s obsession with all things sapphic.

The National Enquirer, that bastion of trash-flash journalism, is rattling the keys to her closet.

Look for the April 19 issue, on newstands everywhere.

Why I’m Now A Rugby Fan

Will someone please give me a Cardiff Blues jersey for Christmas?

Rugby super-star Gareth Thomas has made me one of the biggest fans on the planet and I’ve never seen a professional match.

Thomas, the most capped player in rugby, has publicly announced he is gay and said he hopes coming out will “send a positive message”.

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