Tagged under "queer" (24)
L is for Leisha: Alice is the L-Word Spin-off Star
"What the friggin' frack?" Our beloved series is almost over, the beginning of the end being January 2009! What is a queer girl to watch now? However will we spend our Sunday nights? Well breathe easy fellow L-Word lovers-Showtime announced last week that character Alice Pieszecki will be the star of the show’s spin-off! Our dear Ilene is making it so that the finale of our favorite series will set the stage for Alice’s new solo show. According to media reports, the spin-off will debut online first, and then possibly make a move to the boob tube. Whether it’s on a computer or a plasma screen, I can’t wait to see what wacky adventures await my favorite L-Worder! As awesome as “Shane and the City” or “Everybody loves Bette” spin-offs would have been, I think Leisha’s character demonstrates the most potential to carry the queer torch. An outspoken, insecure, neurotic, and wise-cracking feminist with a penchant for all things gay and dramatic, Alice’s mouth, heart, and girl parts are destined to make for some must-see TV. Last season, Alice was questioning her future with Tasha and trying to secure a permanent spot on The Look. One can only guess how the series will end and leave Ms. Pieszecki, but hopefully it’s in a good place, both in mind, body, and spirit. Because we are discussing the unknown, I can only imagine what could happen to Alice in her new wonderland. What crazy obstacles and climatic consequences will our feisty friend face all alone in WeHo? Luckily, I have an overactive imagination, one that can vividly envision the possible paths Alice can take on the solo road. Here are some storylines I recommend for our girl as she spins off: ·        Alice dumps Tasha and goes on a dating spree! She decides to test the bisexual waters once again, contacts MTV, and stars in her own Shot at Love, where Lisa (the lesbian man) makes a cameo and becomes one of the top three finalists. ·        Alice decides to open up her own Planet, calling it the worLd. Every night is “ladies night” at Alice’s new hot spot, where she and Papi personally host/judge Turkish oil wrestling matches. ·        Alice aggressively pursues TV journalism and leaves The Look. She then becomes the star of her own talk show and brings OurChart to national television, freaking out right-wing Republican Jesus freaks everywhere. ·        Missing Dana more than usual, Alice goes to a psychic medium in an effort to re-connect with her. She and Dana’s ghost end up having a paranormal, otherworldly romance that’s ultimately consummated with Alice jumping off an Olivia cruise ship and joining Dana in the afterlife. (A little morbid, but sweet no?) ·        Alice decides to dedicate herself to her journalism full-time and globally, traveling through the Middle East to document the secret lives of Muslim lesbians and distributing rainbow prayer rugs. ·        Alice and Tasha get married and go on a child adoption extravaganza, becoming mothers to a total of five children from Russia, Thailand, North Africa, and (twins from) Vietnam. ·        Alice runs for office in 2012! Pieszecki for President bitches! Besides my really rad propositions, who knows where Alice is really headed? Ms. Pieszecki is such a crazy, complex little queer that her life can go in any direction. Whatever becomes of Alice, I just hope Irene and Company don’t suppress the quirky, lovable, and loud-mouthed persona that defines the character we have grown to love.  Stay tuned as Alice’s story goes on…
Tagged on September 9, 2008
10 Reasons It's Awesome to be Queer
We all know it's great to be queer. Almost every day, I feel a surge of happiness and gratitude that I get to live my life exactly the way I want to. I wish this happiness for everyone, and so I present my 10 reasons it's awesome to be queer! Freedom I love being queer because the act of recognizing this part of me allows me to live outside of the norms which are solidly established by my society. The standard squares on the game of life do not apply, and so I am free to discover a whole new set of choices and opportunities that may not have been accessible to me under different circumstances. Being queer smashes the proverbial box. Culture I am proud to be part of a community that is profoundly alive through art and language. The queer perspective is harnessed and propelled wildly and formally throughout the world. Our queer existence that lives along and beyond the edges of what is deemed "normal" is expressed through the extreme and the subtle, across all art forms. We have a unique experience, and through that experience, the opportunity to share our perspective with each other and with the world. We are Family Sometimes being queer feels a little isolating and lonely, especially when we face rejection by the people we love. The good news is that being queer also redefines the idea of family altogether and brings us closer as a community because of our struggle together. We are there for each other and putting up with each other and living together and learning how to support each other, no matter our differences. It's Hot I know I'm not alone when I admit that I perked up a bit when I heard that Lindsay Lohan is dating a woman. Queer people are given the freedom to explore their sexuality and gender in ways that most straight people couldn't even imagine. That's hot. Awareness As queer people, we have jumped the track to make our own way. Our life adventure combined with our continuing struggle against hatred provide a unique vision of the world around us. We have the capability to rise above expectations placed upon us as human beings and become an example of love in the face of adversity. We are forced to raise our awareness in order to understand ourselves, our community, and the world around us in a brand new context. Queer people think about stuff because they have to. Style Living outside predefined social standards gives queer people the opportunity, neigh, the responsibility to try on different and exciting outfits. Queer people have an incomparable sense of style that positively affects fashion trends throughout the world. Responsibility Queer people are ingrained with a heightened sense of responsibility because we are in a position to understand that life is hard. Queer people support each other through the challenges that face us as a result of our choice to live freely and openly in a sometimes hostile environment. We learn that our responsibility reaches even further than our immediate family and friends and spreads out into all areas where injustice continues to live and breathe. So many of us dedicate our lives to helping others, because we know first hand how difficult it can be to live as a human being. Adventure Being queer is a never ending adventure of discovery. As queer people, we spend our entire lives learning about ourselves and our relationship to the world around us. We are constantly questioning and wondering and exploring new avenues of thought and feeling. We're not satisfied with prepackaged ideals. Our curiosity (and sometimes our confusion) leads us to profound experience and understanding. Accessories The most recognized symbol of queerness is the rainbow. How cool is that? Our queer accessories are slathered in an image that represents new beginnings, diversity, innocence, light, treasure, and the path between heaven and earth. Sometimes it might seem a little corny, but in the end I can think of no better representation for our awesomeness as queer people. Acceptance Queer people are awesome because we love and support each other to the very best of our abilities. We know how hard it is to be different and to have to try a little more than everyone else. We accept each other's differences and even celebrate these differences, because we know that it is our differences that make us beautiful.
Tagged on September 8, 2008
I Heart Margaret
Margaret Cho is one of my favorite dykons. In this patriarchal, racist, homophobic society, a woman like Cho is a cool breeze on a muggy August afternoon. Known best for arguing about /advocating for equality, politics, body image, pop culture, and sexuality, this Korean-American comedienne always speaks the goddess’ honest truth on how we look, feel, and function in a culture that’s always judging, manipulating, and oppressing.   Besides being a bad-ass bitch, I idolize Margaret Cho for a myriad of reasons. I love Margaret because she is a fierce feminist and GLBTQ activist. Margaret is constantly advocating for equality on all levels. I enjoy Margaret because she is funny, bold, and provocative. Whether it’s on screen or on stage, with words or funny faces, Mrs. Cho always incites a riot of laughter on an array of subject matter. I adore Margaret because no matter what size jeans she’s sporting or how much her weight fluctuates, she embodies beautiful. In Cho’s eyes, there is no template for beauty, and she encourages every gal to embrace their bodies- tall, thin, fat, or short. I dig Margaret because she loves body art. As another huge fan of ink, I appreciate how Cho validates tattoos as sexy and feminine and an empowering form of self-expression. I respect Margaret because she is a minority woman who voices her politics, who isn’t afraid to talk about race, class, gender, sexuality or anything taboo. In fact, if it is taboo, then she is definetly talking about it, and so few people dare to challenge convention like she does. Most of all, I heart Margaret Cho because she is Queer with a capital Q, a lover of women, men, transgenders, transsexuals, and genderfucks. Before Margaret introduced me to “queer” as identity, I never knew how to define my sexuality, much less choose an orientation. I wasn’t straight because I was attracted to women, especially of the butch persuasion. I wasn’t a lesbian because I was still attracted to men. I hated using the term “bisexual” because binaries are so…well, binding. And let’s not even mention my affinity for transfolk.   Needless to say, I  am not an either/or kind of girl, and I’ve searched our everyday lexicon for so long for a word, a way to express my love for/attraction to all people, all genders. When I heard Margaret speak a few years ago about being queer, it hit me like a ton of rainbow-colored bricks. A (married) woman who liked gay/straight/trans boys and girls? That’s what I was- a big queer chick like Cho! For Margaret, there simply was no way to define her- or others like her. People like us couldn’t pick a team to play for, and dared to fall in love regardless of the genitalia at hand. Nothing fit better then “Queer”, an all-inclusive, non-gender discriminating sexuality impervious to categories, labels, or types. When Margret announced to the world that she was a queer woman, I felt like I found a famous sister in the struggle, like I was baptized with the holy spirit of queerness. Margaret Cho expresses queerness in all her endeavors. She expresses queer in her speech, in her style, in her stage antics, in all aspects of this sometimes surreal life. From acting in movies like Bam Bam and Celeste to hosting the “True Colors” tour to starring in her traveling show “Beautiful” and now in her new VH1 reality series The Cho Show, Margaret Cho illustrates the triumphs and troubles of a queer woman. She is an unapologetic, modern -day sexual outlaw in this Wild West world. Did Margaret create “queer” as identity? No. Did her sexy ass claim and celebrate it as her own? Yes. And for that, I learned to look in the mirror, love the space I take up, love the skin I’m in, love my crazy queer self. “The Cho Show” airs on VH1 on Thursday nights, 11pm.    
Tagged on August 26, 2008
A "Boulder" of an Album: How Bitch Brought Ferron’s Groove Back
Most of this new queer generation has never heard of Ferron. I had never heard of Ferron until Bitch announced that she was producing a record of her classics and recording it in her RV (parked outside Ferron’s backyard in the Michigan woods). Not even Bitch knew of Ferron’s music until Ani Di Franco introduced her to the legend a few years ago. Ultimately, Bitch took it upon herself to re-introduce Ferron to today’s queer youth. From there, Boulder was born, becoming the musical highlight of this crazy, hazy summer. Watching Bitch and Ferron perform together at the Boulder CD release show at the Highline Ballroom back in May reminded me how far women have come on the queer musical spectrum. Ferron went from being a homeless teen to famed Canadian folkie to beloved dykon. Bitch created her career as indie artist/ poet almost ten years ago, from being the witchy ½ of Bitch & Animal to fronting new band The Exciting Conclusion to starting her own record label (Short Story Records).  After the show, I watched in awe as Bitch and Ferron loved their fans- shaking hands, hugging tightly, laughing loudly, and smiling widely. What stood before me were not rockstar dyke divas, but magical, musical poet womyn with a melodious message: "change will come, and it's going to start with a song". That spark of healing and revolution is especially heard in Bitch’s production of Boulder. Boulder is breathtaking and heartbreaking. Not breathtaking in the way straight girls clutch at their hearts while watching The Notebook, but in an “I’m part of something bigger than me, than we” breathtaking. Not heartbreaking as in sorrow or unrequited love pain, but in a nostalgic sense of our struggles as sisters, daughters, friends, and lovers. As classic as these songs are (they range from 1976- 2004), Bitch’s new dimension of sound breathed new life into them. Ferron’s signature soulful voice with Bitch’s back-up vocals, violin/viola/ cello/bass playing, and contributions from Ani Di Franco, Samantha Parton, JD Samson, and the Indigo Girls make Boulder nothing short of a Sapphic symphony. Ferron’s old songs (re)sung on Boulder sound remarkable and relevant, so here and so now. How can I describe it better than this, well enough to do it the justice it deserves? Listening to Boulder is listening to a stone butch grandmother tell the story of her life, your life, your girlfriend’s life, around campfire. It is being on a musical mountaintop and taking the deepest breath ever. It is the revolution Emma Goldman would have danced to. Boulder is elder wisdom, torch in the dark, feminist manifesto, soulful sanctuary, faced demons, re-memory, and queer romance wrapped up in an album of 12 amazing tracks. From such poetic gems as  “Souvenir" to “Girl on a Road” to “In the Meantime” , there is a longing that stirs inside the listener’s ear and heart, recalls a time in all our lives when we were whole, broken, seeking, and finding. In short, Boulder is a testament to life and loss, and the little bits of love we encounter in between. It is Ferron’s best album to date, and Bitch’s masterpiece yet. "If music be a boulder, let me carry it a long while.” Thank goddess Bitch helped carry the load by bringing Ferron’s groove back.  With Boulder, Bitch (re)introduced an important dykon elder/music legend to today’s queer youth, reminding us all how far we’ve come since Stonewall, since heterosexual male-dominated music ruled the charts. In producing her idol’s new album, Bitch reinforced the need to honor the foremothers that have paved the road for us and soundtracked our herstory along the way. Bitch and Ferron’s dynamic (onstage, off, an on Boulder) shows not only how song and shared politics bridge an age gap, but how music is the universal language of understanding- and how beautiful their understanding is. Their art is a gift that keeps giving- and what a present Bitch and Ferron delivered with Boulder.   To check out all things Bitch, visit www.bitchmusic.com / www.myspace.com/bitchmusic To become a B+TEC fan: www.myspace.com/bitchtecfans To order a copy of Boulder: www.shortstory.com To check out more on Ferron: www.ferrononline.com
Tagged on August 21, 2008
The Queer Marriage Craze
As a kid, I was never the typical little girl who dreamed of a white wedding and Prince Charming. I was always too busy making Barbie, Ken, and Skipper fuck their little plastic heads off in an all-night threesome inside a makeshift cardboard dream house. Now as a queer adult, I think about it even less- except when I am constantly reminded of it, like as of recent. Now that California lifted their ban on same-sex marriage and Massachusetts overturned the 1913 law and can wed –out-of-state same-sex couples, the queer marriage craze seems to be in full effect, and I am doing my damnest to understand it/cheer it on/not get sucked in. I have always seen marriage as a patriarchal-established, social institution that joins (hetero) couples into a legally-binding contract. It is a business in the sense that two people unite to form a financial partnership where together they ascertain stability and prosperity. It is an institution in how it works to reinforce prescribed gender roles (like woman as domestic caretaker/man as bread-winner). Love doesn’t seem to have a thing to do with it…or does it? Now that lesbians are getting married left and right, I am starting to think otherwise. Could marriage really be a celebration of Sapphic love, with legal protection as a bonus? Could it help deconstruct the gender system established oh-so-long-ago by our misogynistic forefathers? Is it this notion of marriage as awesome and revolutionary that’s driving famous queer folks to get hitched all of a sudden? Wedding bells are ringing loud for many a celesbian couple.  Ellen and Portia are tying the knot soon in California, Heather Matarazzo and Caroline Murphy just announced their engagement, and Lindsey Lohan is rumored to be making “wedding plans” with her not-so-secret partner Samantha Ronson.  Are these rich and famous ladies encouraging queer female common folk to take the plunge, or do they merely reflect a movement of dyke wives that seems to be happening? Since June, more than two thousand queer women have tied the knot in California. Massachusetts boasts thousands of lesbian marriages since 2004. Since more queers across the nation (famous and not) are expected to get marriage licenses, it seems like more gay women are willing to become Mrs. and Mrs. It would be silly to think that jumping the broom is the new fad for queer women. Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon have waited several decades to be able to exchange vows, along with many queer women of past generations. The right to marry has always been denied our community, whether for political or religious (and always homophobic) reasons. Now that they can marry, how does this speak to our present state of queer life? Hooking up the ball and chain is fine and dandy if you live in Massachusetts and California (and is recognized by New York). But what if your love life resides in states other than these three? How will being a married lesbian function in places like Iowa, Utah, and Texas? The one thousand federal rights and benefits that a marriage guarantees will not be considered valid in states that don’t recognize gay marriage. So after the honeymoon is over, are dykes to return to their home state with simply a wedding album and a hope that their state laws will change and that they can one day reap the full benefits of marriage? Will queer women who want to get married have to move to the west or east coasts to live a “real” married life? What will happen to queer women who refuse to move in order to marry? With a bit more luck, the fight for the gay marriage right will continue to progress from state to state, until ultimately we have achieved national equality. Furthermore, what does this queer marriage craze mean for the queer girls who never plan to walk down the aisle?  Will they be looked upon as lascivious women all their life? Queer women, especially lesbians, are stereotyped in extremes as either “U-Haulers” or promiscuous Amazons. After the “U-Haulers” have hauled, will there be expectations for all lesbian couples to get married in order to prove their commitment? Will it become the norm for lesbian women to eventually settle down monogamously, have 2.5 kids, and the proverbial white picket fence? I expect we will be continue to be stereotyped, even more so now that we can tie the knot. But just like the rest of the (straight) world, not everyone is cut out for marriage, and choosing to stay single the rest of your life doesn’t make you a whore. I am a big believer in love, and in the fact that you don’t need the institution of marriage to prove to your partner that you are 100% committed. Like many queers, I don’t feel like you need a gold band, long white dress, and a flowery, canopied garden ceremony to declare your commitment to your significant other. After all the formalities, you ultimately go back to being what you were before (i.e. roommates, lovers, dog owners) living exactly as you did when you first moved in together. Marriage never protects against the fact that infidelity, death, financial problems, and other life circumstances can potentially break you up, and boy is divorce expensive nowadays. However, for those gals and their partners that do need nuptials to cement/celebrate their dedication to each other, I recognize and support this need 100%, especially living in a world where health insurance and owning a home are luxuries. The gay marriage movement/craze raises so many questions, confounds so many people, and brings a sense of joy and completeness to so many queer women. All in all, I am super happy for my Sapphic sisters who are happily married or plan to be. We’ve waited too long to get this far, and still have such a long road ahead of us in terms of attaining marriage equality in the other 48 states. This queer girl, however, still has many roads to tread before she walks down the aisle (if ever). No matter what decision queer women make, the fact that marriage equality is progressing steadily is a victory in itself in the battle for our rights. Truth is, government belongs in the boardroom, not the bedroom. Let’s keep fighting to keep it that way, whether we are the bride or the bridesmaid.
Tagged on August 11, 2008
Free Life Campaign 10/27