Web Exclusives

Sneak Peek at LOVEBIRDS, the New Comedy Play by Marga Gomez
Premiering June 6 through June 15 at La MaMa Theatre in NYC
Women Pioneers of the Arts Project of Cherry Grove
Discover the rich history of this cultural community of women on Fire Island
Getting Blunt with Whoopi
Entertainer shrugs off gay rumors, talks Moms Mabley and being claimed by the LGBT community
Dinah Vegas Rocks Its Third Annual Girls Weekend
girlbar and Truck Stop Girlz bring the heat to Vegas
Introducing the Drag Rapper Du Jour
Iggy Azalea on lame fake lesbians, hip-hop homophobia and safeguarding her gays
Cameron Diaz - The Real Thing
The star of The Other Woman, which opens nationwide April 25, talks about her sexuality and recalls lesbian action on the set of her new movie.
The Search for Sinead
How Sinead O Connor found herself - and how the gay community helped.
Timeless Tori Amos
Songstress talks gay fan affinity, the Disney song she inspired and still rocking at 50
The True Colors of Kathy Bates
Hollywood luminary talks lesbians, drag and Uma Thurman
Exclusive Interview with the Producer, Director and Cast Members of LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS
Jen Rudolph, Clyde Baldo, Kerri Lynn Miller and Cassandra Paras chat with GO about this provocative, sexy, edgy play
Exclusive Chat with Kristen Henderson of Antigone Rising
Founding member, guitarist and songwriter of Antigone Rising, talks about the bands new EPs, being a crowdfunding pioneer, her hot Time magazine cover and life on the road.
Hear Me Out: The Latest from Beyonce, Jennifer Nettles and More
Beyonce scores big with new album, while Jennifer Nettles underwhelms
Deep Inside Hollywood: New Projects from Michelle Rodriguez and Sandra Bernhard
What is next for Michelle Rodriguez and Sandra Bernhard - plus Sundance Film Festival
Exclusive: Romi Sets the Record Straight
It has been a wild year for Romi Klinger, who ended her run on the The Real L Word with a controversial wedding to a guy. She recently separated from said guy. Now she is clearing up misconceptions-talking about her real life and and revealing where she really lands on the sexuality scale.
Dallas Buyers Club: The Unlikeliest of Love Stories
McConaughey and Leto talk inspirational HIV drama
Is One of You the Man...?
Inquiring minds still want to know, even if they know better.
Deep Inside Hollywood: New Projects from Guinevere Turner and Ellen DeGeneres
Guinevere Turner creeps up on you; Ellen DeGeneres keeps making new TV shows happen
Thinking Out Loud: The End of the Slippery Slope
Why same-sex marriage will not lead the way to goat weddings and polygamy
Carrie for the Queer Age
Chloe Grace Moretz talks gay brothers, queer take on classic and not being a lesbian (boo)
Thinking Out Loud: More Than Gay
The delicate balancing act of showing people that my life is not totally defined by my sexual orientation
Queen Dream
Janelle Monae on her gay inspiration, gender-bending and lesbian rumors
Cruise with Dr. Maya Angelou at Olivias Equality and Leadership Summit
Award-winning poet to be keynote speaker on February 2014 excursion
Op-Ed: Meet Flat Phil
New social media campaign targets Big Tobacco marketing in NYC
My Gay Interview with Courtney Love
Scary straights, Kurt Cobains lesbian relative and being normal in some ways
The Po Show
Po Johnson steps into the spotlight with a new EP and big role on the current season of La Las Full Court Life
Thinking Out Loud: Still Waiting for a Great Lesbian Movie
28 years after Desert Hearts, lesbian cinema hasn’t changed much
No Homo? No Way
Homophobes in sports are being shown the door
Tough as Steel
Olympia Dukakis on her new lesbian role - and why it is made her feel less rosy about gay rights
The Unsung Stories of Merry Clayton & Darlene Love
The world called them backup singers. We called them stars.
Thinking Out Loud: DOMA is Still Here
But if you want to know how we’ll get full marriage equality anyway, just ask conservative Justice Scalia
She Is So Unbelievable
Iconic pop star Cyndi Lauper on being touched by Tony win and standing up for her gay fans
The New-Old Sound of America
Melissa Ferrick chats with GO about her rootsy sound, her tour this year and the one thing she ca not live without on the road
Thinking Out Loud: Cuba, I am proud of you!
It is happening here, it is happening there, it is happening regardless of politics.
Creep of the Week: Tony Perkins
Family Research Council honcho loves anti-gay laws, hates gun control
Dressing the Gentlewoman
Queer masculine fashion houses are popping up everywhere, and dare we say it is about time
Creep of the Week: Diocese of Columbus
How big of an asshole do you have to be to run to the school with an obituary of a teacher’s mother in order to get her fired?
Behind the Candelabra
Director talks Liberace biopic and why he is proud to call it his last film ... for now
Thinking Out Loud: Straightening Up at the Boy Scouts Of America
It is time for the BSA to take a tip from its own handbook
A Shot of Love
The Semenette could revolutionize the pregnancy process for lesbian couples
Afternoons, Evenings and Mysterious Props with JD Samson
The MEN mastermind celebrates a successful year at the Rusty Knot
Deep Inside Hollywood
Sara Gilbert, Elton John and More
Thinking Out Loud: Waiting for History
What the Supreme Court marriage cases will mean for equality
Dido Thanks You
The Brit singer-songwriter on her loyal gay following, anger issues and her first album in five years
Click N Buy Gift Guide
No matter where you are spending the holidays this year, do not arrive empty-handed
Precious Pooch of the Month
... and her magnificent mommy
Leaders of The Pack
Meet inspiring women forging ahead in the arts, spirituality, health, human rights and more
The Very Best of New York 2012
Where to eat, shop and play in the greatest city in the world
Yetta Announces Candidacy for NY City Council
Attorney and GO legal columnist Yetta Kurland runs for Quinns seat
Books: Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide
GO contributor Stephanie Schroeders harrowing, but hopeful, memoir
Science Knowledge Not Required
"Legitimate rape" candidate Akin sits on committee that controls Fed funding for scientific research
Frenchie Speaks Out
Voice finalist gets serious about her sexuality and talks upcoming albu
Gay Ugandans: Loud and Proud
Activist speaks out against her countrys tradition of homophobiaand for progress towards LGBT rights
Last Butch Standing
Lea DeLaria takes over NY
Wet: A Yacht Event for Women
Cabana Yacht at the New York Skyport, Marina East, Aug 18
Q&A with Marina and the Diamonds
Starlet talks big gay following, slutty second self and how Britney Spears inspired her new album
Bitter and Better
GO chats with singer/actor Lea DeLaria
Shooting for the Stars
What Sally Ride taught me about our worldand beyond
The OutField: LGBT Sports Summit Brings Champions Together
Nike-sponsored confab decides game plan for achieving equality in athletics
Show Girl
Gina Gershon on her crotch close-up and how its cool to play gay now
Spin Doctor
Lisa Pittman, the DJ/promoter behind Shedonism, talks style, fame, and why Vegas is the new it-place for lesbians
Rachael Sage is in the Mood
The poetic songwriter reveals her muse before her July 26 show
Keeping Up with Doxi Jones
The pop darling gives us the scoop on her upcoming album
Screen Queen: New DVDs
Sister Act 2, Sarah Silverman, Evita and More
Interview with The Sensational Josephine Bakers Cheryl Howard
The playwright and actor reveals the facets of Bakers tumultuous career
Lezzie faves Antigone Rising and Michelle Malone at the Bitter End
The two acts join forces for a live mashup
The Many Dimensions of Katy Perry
Pop star talks new 3D film, her faux lesbian bent and fighting hate with love bullets
Greta Gerwig: The New Gay-Loved Girl
Actress talks gay fake-out in new film, preference for gay boyfriends and filling Lizas shoes
Every Dyke is a Hero
New York City Dyke March celebrates 20 years
Brandi Carlile Kids Around
Singer talks new album, career epiphany and how even lesbians have chickens and horses
The Trouble with Adam Lambert
Pop star talks novelty of his homosexuality, being an unfit role model and his peculiar sex toy
Jenni and Lisas Excellent Adventure
San Francisco couple travels the world in search of Supergays
Carole Pope: Not Going Gently (Part 2)
Part two of an exclusive interview with the Canadian rock provocateur
Carole Pope: Not Going Gently
Part one of an exclusive interview with the Canadian rock provocateur
Melissa Etheridge (Kind Of) Opens Up
Rocker talks about life after her ex, getting remarried and her upcoming album
GMHC Marks 30 Years of Fighting HIV/AIDS
The most pressing public health issue of our time is far from over
Out From Under
Bully director and lesbian teen talk controversial documentary
Book Review: Coral Glynn
There is a dark delicacy to this semi-gothic sixth novel by Peter Cameron
Book Review: Outlaw Marriages
The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples
Book Review: Through the Door of Life: a Jewish Journey between Genders
Joy Ladins memoir follows her path from unhappy little boy to Orthodox woman
Book Review: Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worl
Richard Davenport-Hines recalls those whose fates are intertwined on the doomed voyage
Music Review: The Ting Tings
Sounds from Nowheresville goes, well, nowhere
Book Review: Conversations and Cosmopolitans: Awkward Moments, Mixed Drinks, and How a Mother and So
Gay son Robert and straight mom Jane share a funny, honest double memoir
GLAAD Awards Recap
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Pariah, Dancing with the Stars and Katy Butler honored at 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards
Theater Review: Asylum
Cheril N. Clarkes timely play debuts at HEREs Downtown Urban Theater Festival
Q&A with Kate Clinton
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Number One on the Ones and Twos: DJ Mary Mac
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Book Review: Shine
By Lauren Myracle
Book Review: Camptown Ladies
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Controversial co-star of Sex and the City plays a dying English professor in Broadway revival
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My children might challenge my will
V-Day Gift Guide
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Review: Times Square International Theatre Festival
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EXCLUSIVE: Rose Troche Wraps New Film
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Book Review: Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time
No, its not about cruising the bar sceneits about dinner.
Theater Review: The Philanderer
Gender roles (and some gender-bending) in old London rock the house of Ibsen
Janet McTeer Plays Gender-Queer in Oscar-Nominated Albert Nobbs
The two-time Academy Award nominee talks about her role in the acclaimed period drama set in 19th century Ireland
Book review: Tuesday Night Miracles
by Kris Radish (Bantam Books)
Sheer Genius
Review: Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
Satirists in Need of Superheroes
The Slope kicks off Kickstarter campaign
Single in the City: Its Not You, Its Me: Dispelling the Dump
With Hurricane Irene on the loose and about to impact New York this weekend, I feel it’s important to talk about another tragic natural disaster that leaves pain and suffering in its wake: dumping. Let’s face it, dumping, breaking up with, or rejecting someone is about as painful and embarrassing as an annual trip to the gynecologist. And much like an annual, both parties want to get it over with as soon as possible— nobody actually wants to be there at all. With so many emotions swirling about and the lesbian tendency to process, it can be hard to decipher exactly what somebody “really means.” And so I’ve put together a handy guide to dispelling the dump: What she says: “It’s not you, it’s me. ”
What she means: “It’s you.” What she says: “Let’s just be friends.”
What she means: “The sex was bad.” What she says: “I think you’re a wonderful, beautiful, amazing person…”
What she means: “The sex was really bad.” What she says: “We want different things.”
What she means: “The sex was great but I really don’t want a relationship with you due to a major incompatibility. So can we still keep hooking up?” What she says: “I need to work on myself right now.”
What she means: “I would rather enroll in a Tai Chi or pottery class full of old people to ‘enrich myself’ before I ever go on another date with you again.” What she says: “I’m sure there’s someone wonderful out there who’s going to appreciate you for all that you are and give you everything you deserve.”
What she means: “I really hope this person comes soon so that you’ll stop calling me!” What she says: “I’m just not over my ex yet.”
What she means: “I’m still hopelessly in love with somebody who may or may not be deserving of it, and this person will proceed to come back in my life more times than there are Harry Potter sequels. Let’s go on another date in maybe five years, when I’m REALLY over her.” What she says: “I have a lot of things going on in my life right now…”
What she means: “I’m just not that into you.” Dumpees, rejoice. Now there are no more reasons to waste whole hours calling your BFF, to share texts or emails with her to get to the bottom of the mystery. And yes, rejection is a tough thing. Whenever one person doesn’t feel the same way, it’s easy to take it as an assessment and devaluation of your own personal worth. But think of love like a game or sport, or even an eternal Wheel of Samsāra— everyone does their fair share of both winning and losing, of experiencing pleasure and pain. The one who has caused you harm has most definitely experienced the same pain at the hands of another. When it’s over, you have two choices. The first is to accept defeat with grace, civility, and kindness, to act with a clear head, in moderation. There’s always a chance your dumper will change her mind when she realizes what a wonderful person she’s lost and come back (with lesbians, we all know the chance of someone coming back is always extremely high!) The second choice is to treat a rejection with spitefulness, insults, and an ill-temper. In which case, the chances of your paramour revisiting her decision is zero. Choose wisely and go in peace. No matter what side of the equation you rest upon, it’s pretty clear that all anyone wants is to be loved, and that love is not an easy thing to find. Now, who’s ready for Hurricane Irene?
Single in the City: On the Prowl: Rainbow Sins
Recently, being single for me felt less like burning in hell/going to the dentist and actually started becoming…fun? I was thinking the other day about tackling a new subject in SIC: nightlife. It makes sense, right? On some level or another, everyone’s on a journey to find “The One,” and it’s going to take a lot of cosmos and PBRs to get there. Not to mention, part of the beauty of being single is being able to go anywhere, being able to do whatever you want and not having to answer to anyone. This is where “On the Prowl” comes in. It’s my new project to blog about some of the most fun and interesting parties or date spots in the city. This week, I decided to check out the new darling of NY lesbian nightlife: Rainbow Sins! The Host: Mari TheBody (and oh, what a body.) The DJ: Angel Boi The Venue: Second Saturday of the Month at The Alchemist Lounge in Brooklyn What Happened: Rainbow Sins is the Brooklyn’s best kept secret. A relatively new dark horse in the running of Sapphic nightlife, RS has only happened twice so far, and has a similar feel to Choice or Snapshot. That translates into edgy girls, a quirky feel, and lots of glitter paired with tattoos. A mere $10 secured an unlimited (and gay) amount of rainbow Jello shots for the evening, and it might well be the only night where I can say I’ve picked up a “Red-Headed Slut” for $6. At least, the only one that I can consciously recall. Angel Boi deviated from her trademark set of Reggae/Hip-Hop and threw down an eclectic set of hard-hitting rave music around the time the clock struck midnight, only I assure you that no lesbian’s carriage (U-Haul?) turned into a pumpkin. Instead, girls all over the club took out actual glove-like mittens adorned with glow-in-the-dark accouterments and started raving. Seriously. Raving. Lesbians. The Verdict: Totally worth the ride to Brooklyn! RS is a refreshing and interesting party new to the scene, with playful energy, awesome music and a really friendly crowd of down to earth, artistic chicks. Next month, the dress-up theme for RS is fetish. So get ready to refill that Metrocard on the double! In short, be there.
Single in the City: Whats Your Sign?
I figured this would be a good time to talk about astrological signs on my blog…because I’m secretly a hippie, and I think they matter. This is what I know about women and astrology, according to signs…and I’ll do it in chronological order, that way the ones who are having their birthdays right now come first! Leo – Meow! What have we here, the Queen of the Jungle? Leo women have big hair and big egos. Stroke both with care. Sometimes they’re kind of pushy, and sometimes they’re power tops. Let them have their way, if you must…or if you’re an Aries that doesn’t like to be bossed around (like me) then just let them THINK they’ve had their way…for now. Also, let them have the spotlight. Most work in entertainment or theater (hello, Madonna) so let that lion show off a little. Virgo – Virgos will get very upset if you leave any fingerprints on the coffee table, will notice the tiniest detail out of place, and shun financially irresponsible dates, so either you’re going dutch or they’re not paying. Also, they love to take their vitamins, so don’t be surprised if they pull out one of those “Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday” pillboxes for old people and it has several pills for Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin E in it. They are always going to the doctor and convinced they are going to die. On the bright side, Virgos are incredibly sexy and beautiful…so clean up your damn house if you want to keep one. Libra – Ah. The scales. Well the good news here is nothing excessively good OR bad will happen with this date— they’re very balanced, rational, and weigh things over carefully. Libras love the fine arts, and are generally at least 20 minutes late for some reason. Impress them with some on-the-fly photography or artwork while you wait. Scorpio – Oh God help you. I am sorry that you’re dating a Scorpio. Well, we all know what they’re good for, and they are only good for one thing. What else can we say about the one astrological sign that rules the genitals? Scorpios love luxury, and they love the water…take them out to the most expensive restaurant you can find by a lake, or the ocean. They will sting you with their poisonous little stingers if you waste their time by going to a chain restaurant. Most play the guitar or sing. And they are the worst exes to break up with. So when it’s over, expect your tires to be slashed and a lot of bad folk music about it on your voicemail or at the local indie rock venue, where your heartlessness will be immortalized in public for the rest of your lesbian life. Sagittarius – The centaurs are some of the most adventurous in the zodiac, pairing athletic ability with intellectual curiosity. Most favor philosophy and asking lots of questions. Sagittarius loves adventure and travel more than anything, so take them out to a scenic overlook for a picnic, or something that involves the great outdoors. What to watch for? Fidelity. Sagittarius is appealing because they harbor an optimistic attitude that the grass is always greener…and naturally, that translates into exploring other partners as options. Capricorn – Capricorns are the Darias of the zodiac, with a dry, deadpan humor that’s generally very smart. But they keep their greatness under wraps because they know they don’t have to broadcast it for accolades. Capricorns are extremely proud of earning the things they want through hard work, and take pride in the industry of their choice. The best way to impress a Capricorn is to work on yourself, be the best at what you’re good at and earn a promotion…Capricorn both adores (and rewards) responsibility and ingenuity. Aquarius – This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius! Aquarius girls almost always wear glasses…and they love to take in information. Impress an Aquarius with knowledge and a free-spirited approach to life. Aquarius women love freedom and will resist any attempt to make them conform to one path. Much like Sagittarius, the roving is what you need to watch out for, but not necessarily in relationships…Aquarius can change careers several times in their lifetimes. Not because they aren’t responsible, but because they easily get bored and are willing to try anything once. Also, they love handcuffs…so tie one up and maybe she will stay at her current job for longer than six to eight months. Pisces – Aww! The fishies! Pisces women are extremely sentimental and romantic, and most dabble in either painting or poetry. They love to shake it on the dance floor, so take them out to cut a rug and wear your best accessories, because they will probably be wearing some tasteful jewelry or scarves that make them look really hot. Pisces are the bottoms of the zodiac, so line up all of the plans, because they’ll be the ones to say “I’ll go wherever you go! I’ll have whatever you’re having!” and secretly, they like to be bossed around a little. But treat them with care, because they’re also just as sensitive as they are sweet. Aries – Ah ha! My favorite sign! Aries is a cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars, the planet of passion and competition. So turn up the heat and challenge an Aries woman to a friendly game, then make a fun bet that all parties will enjoy (ie, if you lose the bowling match, you have to wear a sexy maid outfit and clean my house.) Aries women are the frat boys of the zodiac (even the femmes) and will probably make all kinds of inappropriate comments about your boobs because we love sex, but don’t take it the wrong way— for all of the huff and puff, most Aries women are generally old-fashioned, idealistic, and romantic under the surface. However, most Aries can sometimes be impatient (I know that I hate to wait for anything) and bossy, some have a horrid temper. Aries, once slighted, will react in one of two ways: either an emotional pyrotechnics display of anger, or they will charge off just as quickly as they were shepherded in, turning fire into ice. Taurus – Taurus women are down to earth and grounded. They love jewelry, so decorate your bull with some new bling. However, they’re very jealous, so don’t ever bring up past lovers with a Taurus, or they’ll gore you with those horns! Taurus women are fabulous cooks, so tell her to get back in the kitchen and make you a sandwich (just kidding…maybe.) Gemini – Oh Geminis…who doesn’t want to party with the twins? They are easygoing, have a sparkling wit and are natural flirts. The name of the game with this sign is words, because they’re ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. Geminis write the best love (or lust) letters, and the way to nab one is with random sexting throughout the day, which they LOVE. They’re very intellectual and well-read, so keep up with the latest current events, trends, and good books. Most Geminis are well-connected and work in publishing, marketing, or the media. And the body part they’re associated with are the hands, so in addition to the standard lesbian uses of them, find other ways to kiss, touch, or use their fingers. I’m just saying. What to watch for? Geminis are gossips. Screw one over and since they work in the media, they will probably put it in a newspaper, advertisement, or write a bestselling novel making fun of you sometime in the near future. Either way, expect to be badmouthed. But approach the impending embarrassment with a sense of humor, which they really appreciate, and everybody wins. Cancer – Cancer girls are sensitive, they love good wine and good food. And they are major talkers! So find a great restaurant (for some reason, they like seafood and vegetarian places) and give them lots and lots and LOTS of time to talk your ear off! Don’t rush them! And if she takes you back to her place…don’t make fun of her New Kids on the Block posters or ceramic California Raisin figurines. Cancers rule the home, so they take lots of pride in having guests over!
Single in the City: New York State Assembly Approves Same-Sex Marriage
The New York state Assembly approved same-sex marriage on Wednesday, voting 80 to 63 in favor of the marriage equality bill introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill will still face a vote in the Senate on Friday, where it only needs support from one more senator to pass. The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans­— however, 31 of the 62 senators have publicly indicated support for the bill. Senator Ruben Diaz is the only Democrat out of the party’s 30 senators who does not support same-sex marriage, while Republican senators Jim Alesi and Roy McDonald have expressed interest in voting in favor of it. New York’s Assembly has passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage several times in recent years, but the move was rejected the first time it was voted on by the then Democrat-led Senate in December 2009. “Only second-class states have second-class citizens,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Democrat who voted in favor of the bill. On Tuesday, actress Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” and New York Ranger ice hockey player Sean Avery lobbied lawmakers in Albany to legalize gay marriage. If the bill passes on Friday, same-sex couples could start marrying in New York 30 days later. New York would join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia in  allowing same-sex marriage. The first legal same-sex marriages in the United States took place in Massachusetts in 2004. If passed, the bill does not compel any member of the clergy to conduct a same-sex marriage.
Single in the City: Matchmaker, Matchmaker
My most recent dating adventure involved meeting with a professional matchmaker. Well-respected and renowned for her matching prowess, I figured it was time to pull out all the stops and get down to business on fixing my love life– to become proactive about   working on my flaws to find the right girl. And thus, I called in an elite matchmaker at the very top of her game. I sat across from her at a table, while she eyed me with a shrewd and analytical gaze, acquired from years of sizing up people fearful of dying alone. “So. What do you think you need help with in your love life?” she asked. “Well…I feel like the type of woman I’m trying to find is over here,” I said, pointing to one end of the table. “But what I’m getting is over here.” “Oh. So you’re a lesbian.” “Well, yeah.” “Got it. Well, from what I can see here, you’re a butch. Am I right?” I was wearing a pink shirt with ruffles. “Um…no?” “Okay listen honey. If you want to nab a New York lesbian, you’ve got to get more fashion forward and go shopping for better clothes. Because right now, you’re looking butch to me!” “But I’m often chastised for drinking cosmopolitans by my friends! Who say I’m too femme!” I protested. “Well, they’re wrong,” she countered. “And you need to step it up! Not only do you not look femme, but you kind of look like a man at this point.” I realized she was right…coming from San Francisco, possibly the least fashionable city on the face of the planet, I indeed looked like I fell off of a turnip truck when I moved to New York a little over a year ago, and never quite ended up looking as polished as girls from the Empire state. “So how old are ya? 34?” she asked. “I’m 29,” I said. “Definitely thought you were in your mid-thirties.” There was a long, pregnant pause after that one. But better a pregnant pause than menopause, which is apparently the milestone phase of the average woman’s life that I appeared to be entering in. “You have to pull yourself together!” she asserted. “Better clothes! Lose the weight! We’ve got to get you in a dress to make you look nice and show off those curves! Have you thought about wearing some hair extensions? There’s a lot of work to do here, we’ve got to get you looking like Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez!” “Oh my,” I thought to myself. “There is no way that’s ever happening. And by ‘that’ I mean looking like J-Lo OR getting the hair extensions.” I’ve always thought of hair extensions as basically femme toupees. And then I thought of Meatloaf. “I would do anything for love. But I won’t do THAT.” Another long pause settled over us. Nervous tension, perhaps concerning the extensions. Because I looked down at the floor and envisioned a freaking carpet draped over my head, passing as a soft, luxurious mane. “So. When it comes to women, do you like to approach first, or you do prefer them to approach first? You like to be the leader, or the follower?” “I get r-really sh-shy,” I stammered. “I’m too scared to make the first move, too afraid of rejection!” “Oh, so you’re a bottom,” she concluded. “I am NOT a bottom!” I shouted. “I’m more of a swi–” “Well, all i’m hearing out of your mouth is ‘Blah blah blah, I’m Esther the bottom.’ ” “I’m not a bottom!” “Well, then stop sending mixed signals. So…what kind of woman are you looking for? What’s your type?” It has always been sort of difficult to explain my type, which is pretty much right down the middle. I tend to go for femmey tomboys. Do you remember being a kid, when your parents would take you to the frozen yogurt shop, and instead of wanting to choose one flavor, you were like, “I’ll just have the swirl, thanks.” Well that’s kind of how I feel about femmey tomboys. They’ve totally been my flavor of the month…for 11 years now. “I like femmey girls. Who are also kind of tomboys. I guess femmey tomboys,” I said, which I’m sure didn’t help at all. “Okay. What’s the number one most important quality you would identify in a woman?” I tapped my lip thoughtfully and looked out the window, thinking about the quality that I find most important in a potential mate. Would it be humor? Intelligence? Passion? I thought about the one distinct quality that all of my long-term, U-Haul girlfriends and memorable relationships all shared, the one I have discussed many a time in this very column. “All I want is a woman from New Jersey.” “You WHAT?” she cried. She threw up her hands, looking utterly baffled. “Yes. That is exactly what I want.” “What are we talking here? Like the girls on Jersey Shore? Jerseylicious?” “Precisely!” She took in a breath, and a moment to think about my standards. “Well…okay. I know your type exactly. We need to target a woman who has enough money to afford a hotel room. For when she comes into the city on the weekends.” “I really want to find a Jersey Girl who makes that much money,” I said, filled with hope. “Well, that’s obtainable. Where are you looking?” “Bars. Online. General dating sites.” “I don’t like that one bit!” she retorted. “You’ve got to find a personal ad site for lesbians.” “There aren’t a lot that are really popular. Not specifically for lesbians, anyway. And whenever I make a profile on a site for everyone, I’m only contacted by straight ladies and men.” “You’re just making excuses now!” she thundered. “All you’re doing is whining, whining, whining. Come back to me when you’re done with all of that whining.” Another long pause settled over us. I thought to myself that maybe I was whining, and generalizing. That it was time to stop making excuses. She broke the pause. “Do you have to pee? Because I have to pee. Come on, I’ll take you to the bathroom.” I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I am peeing next to the matchmaker. Its come to this.” I left the session with a strong resolve to get back to the gym, do a complete life and body makeover and really do the hard work towards fixing my love life. In particular, really zeroing in on what it is that I want and being less afraid to make the first move. And as luck would have it, by following her advice, I asked out a cutie and scored a date just a few days afterwards! Unfortunately, this one has broken the streak and is not from the Garden State, but I suppose I must be realistic and can’t have it all.
Single in the City: Just Friends
In some unwritten, immutable law of lesbian physics, in the rare event I meet someone I feel compatible and have fun with, we have a great time for like a month, then we’re “just friends” as usual. I’ve received feedback from friends that I’m “too nice” and for this reason, I become boring. It’s true, I don’t enjoy games and I don’t have a deceptive or mysterious bone in my body, which makes dating me pretty predictable. At 10pm on a Saturday night, I will not be cheating on anyone; I will be at home drinking herbal tea and watching Netflix.

I read “Manhood 101″ which is a guide on how to get women during the holiday season, which poses the theory that all women like, even crave misogynistic behavior on an unconscious level, so the only way to keep a woman is to alternate pleasure and pain and never act as though you’re interested or invested. I didn’t listen to “Manhood 101″ and perhaps because of this, once again, I have failed. The end of my adventure with Jersey Laura came abruptly, when I received the “just friends” speech because she didn’t want a relationship that I never suggested and had “no romantic feelings for me” which was great to hear 2 weeks before V-Day. Ironically, not even twenty minutes had passed before two of my exes, (friends) sent me long emails saying they didn’t want me to be sad, thought I was a great person and that I would not be alone forever. A third, the opportunist, even started sexting me. Thanks guys, but I look about as forward to receiving those “you’re a wonderful person” emails as one looks forward to getting 803 coupons from Bed Bath and Beyond in the mail. However, I won’t look askance at the sexting, so please feel free to keep ‘em coming. I dealt with my heartache via retail therapy, going shopping in Soho and trying on 6 semi-identical tops that all reflected my mood (black, black, black, grey, dark grey, and blue.) Then I called my mother for advice. Historically, my mom generally says something that makes me feel worse, not better, in my times of need, but I gave it a go anyway (and was mocked by my younger sister later for my poor decision making.) “Honey, don’t be sad,” she said. “Why not? I…thought maybe this year I’d have a valentine… since nobody has romantic feelings for me, maybe I’ll NEVER have a valentine!” I wailed. “Well, I saw this great article on Psychology Today that said being rejected is good for you!” “Good for me?” I asked, sniffling. “Yes! It says that getting rejected builds character, and the more you’re rejected, the more you end up benefiting from it! So look forward to being rejected many more times in the future!” “Baah! Whaaa haaa haaaaah. Aaaaaah…” I howled, blowing my nose into a tissue. “Oh– Esther don’t cry. Where’s your cat? I’m sure she doesn’t want you to be sad.” “Well, she’s too busy eating her kibble in the kitchen. She’s not even in the same room! The cat doesn’t care AT ALL! Aaaaah…” “Oh gosh. I said that all wrong. That’s not what I meant at all. What I meant to say is that people who fear opening their hearts suffer a worse fate than getting rejected. They might not know true sadness, but they’ll never know true happiness either. And in the long run, because you take risks…you’re the one that’s free.” Her words stayed with me as I roamed the village searching for love in bars for the 1,000th time and only found a woman who said I was “beautiful” and then slapped my ass, which lacked a certain sincerity. I almost wanted to ask for her number, but I knew if I did, she would just tell me that I’m a “wonderful person” and then ask if she could be my friend within the next two to four weeks, and I didn’t need another platonic BFF to go purse shopping and get manipedis with for the one millionth time. So I finished my cosmo and left the bar.
Single in the City: Night Bleeder, Night Bleeder
Last week was utterly fab with Jersey Laura. I can’t even begin to describe the extent of which nothing terrible happened, and fun was had by all. On one night, she surprised me by taking me to an Indian restaurant with a live Sitar player, and, being as adorable as she is, needed help picking out what to eat because she’d never had Indian food before. And afterwards, we went on another adventure, trying to get into the infamous “Death and Company” in the Lower East Side, which was packed—so we instead ended up at the new Cuban rum bar, “Cienfuego” decorated like some kind of 18th century Catholic chapel. Can I just say there’s something really funny, yet perverse, about making googly eyes at a girl in a place that reminds me of church? 
We both remarked about how well things were going, how different our dates were from the other crazies we encountered.
“I went on a date with a woman who asked if she could bring her sister,” said Laura. “She said she was her ride home because she had her license taken away. But not to worry! It was ONLY taken away for three DUIs. Not one…three!”
And so, with things going so well, it was eventually time for that nerve-wracking moment of truth that occurs when dating is actually fun—meeting your date’s BFF’s. I was so nervous about this, because I feel like it’s just as important (and scary!) as meeting somebody’s mother. But nonetheless, readied myself to meet Laura’s close circle of friends.
“You have nothing to be worried about,” said Laura. “We are all nerds, and in fact we were so obsessed with Lost that we had a big dinner and called it ‘The Lost Supper’ to celebrate the season finale.” So we decided to all meet up and go to the Nowhere bar. I was pleasantly surprised to find them all hilarious, non-intimidating, and very sweet to me. Her entourage included two gal pals, Joann and Alex, along with a totally adorb gay boy, Jean-Pierre, who was anxious about meeting an online date for the first time at the bar. “So ya wrote the blog on Jersey Girls?” said her friend Joann, chewing some gum. “I like ya!” “Yeah, we like you ‘cause you like Jersey! Whooo!” said Alex. “I loved the blog ya wrote on Laura. I felt like I was on a date with her.” Said Joann, grinning. And then the group all cheered an emphatic, “Heeeyyyy!” in a way that made me think of Fonzie’s “Heyyyy!” which caused me to burst out laughing. “So is this place gay?” I asked Laura. “Well I don’t know. Apparently it’s gay. But it’s not,” she said. “I googled it. People say it’s an ‘untapped gay resource’ and I’m not sure what that means.” So we arrived at Nowhere, we met more of her friends until our party doubled in number, and I remarked upon the gigantic bedazzled penis hanging above the coat check. “This place is an untapped gay resource? That is the gayest thing I have ever seen,” I said. She laughed. We all got on the dance floor. I was nervous, and I think my “dancing” was more of a two step “shuffling.” “What, you need something to drink to get your dance on?” said Laura. “Yeah, I think so,” I said. We went to the bar. “I want to get shots for everybody. How about buttery nipples?” “Uh, okay.” Laura motioned for the bartender to come over. “Hey uh…can I get 8 buttery nipples?” she said. We immediately both burst out laughing at how ridiculous this sounded, if not for the surplus of nipples, for the fact that we, two women, looked like crazy alcoholics for ordering not two, but eight. The bartender didn’t have enough ingredients to make eight, so we settled on Washington Apples. “Okay! Okay! Everyone come here. We’ve got eight shots that we need to, uh, distribute to everyone,” said Laura. “Heyyyyyyy!” they said, once more, doing the Fonzie cheer. So now, I was feeling good, and now, I was getting comfortable, talking to her friends about all manner of geekery, in-between making out and snuggling with Laura, who couldn’t stop laughing at the tacky red lighting and random 70’s music being spun by the DJ. Even Jean-Pierre seemed to be doing well with his Internet date, and we glanced at him smiling and having a good time across the room. So then, Laura and I got on the dancefloor and Joann demonstrated some fist pumping. With vigor and passion, she punched the air above her head to what may have been “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. And suddenly—without warning, while gettin’ down, Joann’s fist arced into a smooth uppercut and accidentally split my lip. Yes, unanticipated by us all, my date’s BFF had just accidentally punched me in the face to disco music. The taste of blood slowly started to fill my mouth. “Uh…ah…I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” I said. I rushed off and started dabbing at the gash in the mirror, trying to stop the bleeding. Laura followed, totally confused. “What just happened?” “Oh, Joann accidentally punched me in the face, it’s totally cool.” I turned to Laura and the blood was welling up. “Well…I…can…hardly even tell that it’s there!” she said, trying to be positive. I continued dabbing at the wound. “Oh god! I’m never going to hear from you again!” she wailed. “You’re so going to blog about this on Single in the City and say you’re dating someone who is friends with a…a FACEPUNCHER and I’m never going to see you again!” I just burst out laughing. “What’s so funny?” “This!” I said. “It’s all hilarious! What better soundtrack to be punched in the face to?” Laura started laughing too, and then, what did she do? She kissed the blood off of my lip, extra bonus to all you Twilight/True Blood fans. I emerged from the bathroom. “She’s okay,” said Laura. “Heeeeyyyy!” “Oh my God, I am so sorry, I am so, so sorry,” said Joann, who was now tearing up with guilt for having accidentally injured me. “Come on, let’s get pizza. I’ll buy ya a slice. ‘Cause that’s what people from Jersey do when they accidentally punch ya in the face.”
Single in the City: Jersey GirlsBest in the World
I once noticed, while waiting for NJ transit to ferry me to the safety of New York, that the official seal of the great state of New Jersey is in fact an artist’s representation of two women seductively eyeing each other, their hands moving towards one another on top of a crest of hoes that are plowing a field. If two women holding hands next to some hoes isn’t enough to tell you that this state is gay, then I don’t know what is. Seeing that the state’s primary prized export is, well, gay women, I think it only makes sense that the only good date I have ever been on in New York involved a Jersey Girl last week. I’d met Laura on New Year’s Eve at Stonewall, while running away from a woman at least thirty years my senior who kept slurring the word “sexy” at me. So I rang in 2011 by making out with Laura for a couple of hours, until it was last call at the club, the ugly lights came on, and the DJ played Michael Jackson’s, “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.” Happy New Year to me! Laura and I stayed in touch throughout the week, and I prepared by getting a manipedi, choosing a glittery red nail polish color called, “The Show Must Go On” which seemed appropriate. Before the date, I blasted some Usher to bolster my confidence. “Dance, dance, like it’s the last, last night of your life, life…hmm hmm hmm hmm!” I paced nervously, humming the song to myself and putting on eyeshadow, while listening my friend Rita, a fashion magazine columnist, talk about things and accidents that could potentially kill you. “I’m nervous.” I said. “What if something terrible happens?” “Oh, you mean like cancer?” “No Rita. The date.” “Oh.” “Speaking of death, I am so anxious right now,” I said, feigning exhaustion and collapsing into a chair with the back of my hand on my forehead. “Ugh. Come here,” she said, taking out some hair product and fluffing up my ‘do. “Mascara. We need some of that. Where the hell is your eyeliner? Blend! Blend! Blend!” Rita worked quickly and with precision, as though she were a dedicated surgeon and my face the ER itself. Within the hour, I met up with Laura, who was very clearly dolled up in a pretty dress and we went to an Italian restaurant. The entire menu was unpronounceable. We sat there for quite some time staring at it, and I was of no help, having not studied Italian a day in my life. We also decided we wanted wine, were presented with a wine menu the size of the Old Testament, and couldn’t make a decision there either. “Would you like to order?” asked the waiter. “Well, ah, to be honest, I have no idea what the hell any of this even says!” said Laura, laughing. “Esther, what are you getting?” “Um, lasagne.” “Well, then I’ll have that too,” she said. We asked the waiter what the best red wine was and just followed his suggestion. I had to control the urge to burst out laughing at the ridiculous nature of the situation—we go to an Italian restaurant reputable for its authentic cuisine, order lasagne of all things and then just point at any random wine selection in a book of at least three hundred? Hilarious! What we lacked in Italian, we didn’t lack in English, and talked on and on about art, literature, and gayness for a good two hours. After dinner, we decided to go see, “Black Swan.” Now, when we got to the theater, it was surprisingly sold out. I’d thought about getting tickets through Fandango earlier, but didn’t want to rush Laura. So we googled the next closest theater and got there about thirty minutes in advance. It was sold out again! And the next showing not for another hour and a half.  “I don’t mind waiting for the next one,” said Laura, shrugging. “I mean, if I were having a horrible time with you, I’d just leave, but since I’m having a great time with you, let’s go get drinks!” Not knowing where else to go, we googled the closest well-rated bar, La Biblioteca, and entered its swanky confines. Boasting $100 bottles of Tequila and a crowd of snobby upper-class straight people, we felt it necessary to just make out in the middle of the establishment, thereby confusing everyone there, and nearly ordered a dirty martini and a PBR from the bartender. And then, over the background noise of the people, I heard on the speakers: “Dance, dance, like it’s the last, last night of your life, life…” “Whoa heyyyy…too bad we have to get going. I feel like dancin’ now,” said Laura, who was fist pumping. FIST PUMPING! Well, suffice it to say, nothing terrible happened. At no point during the date did she reveal a marriage, a crazy ex-girlfriend, jail time, or anything else to be concerned about. Nothing. The only terrifying parts of the date were the bloody scenes in Black Swan. That was about it. It was completely non-terrible and anti-bad. Thanks New Jersey, for staying true to your t-shirts sold the shore—Jersey Girls really ARE the best in the world! I’d write more, but I’ve got to go GTL before I see this one again on Wednesday.
Single in the City Dykes to Watch Out For: The Red Flags
For this holiday season, I am giving you a present: advice on how to spot the red flags of gay dating.The best way to avoid becoming the lead in a bad lesbian drama is to never find yourself in it to begin with. When you go on that first date with the girl of your dreams, watch for these red flags to sidestep what could potentially be the girl of your nightmares. The Entry Level Lesbian When you go on a job interview, your interviewer will usually look for about three to five years of experience in the industry to make sure you can handle the job. Consider applying this to dating– women who have some experience dating other women are more confident in their sexuality and more clear on what they want out of a relationship. If she’s already had at least one long term U-Haul commitment, that’s even better. Anyone who’s experienced the joys of U-Hauling and has lived to tell the tale most likely has learned some invaluable things about the experience. 

The Closet Case If, at any moment on the date, she says she’s “looking for something discreet,” says she identifies primarily as a straight woman or wants to keep her relationships with other women under wraps from everyone else in her life, run. The Closet Case needs to deal with the skeletons in her closet before trapping you there with her. Closet Cases can sometimes become resentful of partners who are out and proud; they might even be hiding you from a male significant other. Not something you want to deal with.  Also, someone who can’t treat themselves with respect and honesty will most likely not treat you with these values either. The Rebound It might seem tempting, but don’t get involved with a woman who’s still hung up on her ex. Look for someone who’s taken some time after her long term relationships have ended to figure out what went wrong, rather than someone who jumps from girl to girl. Try to find someone who’s spent at least six months away from her last ex post-relationship, just to make sure you won’t be the rebound, especially if her last relationship was a long term one. Ex-girlfriends are notorious for coming back in acts I or II of most gay drama– you want to be with someone who’s already over it when that inevitably happens. The Mama’s Girl Depending on her age, look for a woman who has moved out of her family’s house and lives independently. Now, if she’s 18 years old, it is totally normal for her to still live with her parents. If she’s 35, this could be a little weird. An older woman still living with her family is in need of doing some legwork to fix her life and become more independent before getting involved with someone else– unless, of course, she’s caring for a sick family member. The Free Spirited Hippie Love Child There are some people who think two partners are better than one. And there may be times in your life when you might not want to commit to just one woman as well. Open, polyamorous relationships are possible, but tricky. Make sure you’re heading down this road with someone who’s mature, communicative, and considerate about your feelings, who takes the time to negotiate situations you’re both comfortable with– not someone who wants as many partners as possible to satiate their own ego. Debbie Downer Pay close attention to how a date makes you feel about yourself. If you find this woman makes condescending, sarcastic comments towards you that make you feel uncomfortable or hurt, cut your losses fast. What might seem initially like teasing about your life achievements, body or appearance may eventually turn into verbal abuse. Abusers often start breaking down their victims early on by making chipping away at their self-esteem under the guise of teasing or “it was just a joke.” There’s nothing funny about being a douchebag. Flee as quickly as possible from this one. The Narcissist Once, I went on a date with a woman who spoke for an entire hour about herself without letting me get one word in edgewise. She then said, “You’re such a great listener! This is exactly what I need in my life!” What I needed in my life was to get the hell out of there. Beware the selfish woman who monopolizes conversations, only talks about herself and doesn’t seem to express an interest in getting to know who you are. A good potential partner will be just as excited about getting to know more about you as you are about them. Also watch for someone who tries to pressure you into sex before you feel comfortable going that level. This type of person is more interested in dating and pleasing themselves than they are in dating and pleasing you. Age Before Beauty There are, of course, great love stories told about unlikely couples who fall for each other and struggle against all odds to make it work. Most of us, however, can’t compete with a huge power or age imbalance. Anything more than 10-15 years of an age difference can be problematic, depending on the maturity of the individual and the developmental stages they’ve gone through in their lives. I personally prefer to date about 5-10 years older than I am, just because I prefer the maturity and security of being with an older woman. Also, I find cougars extremely hot. But anything more than 10-15 years of difference is difficult to swing. The same power imbalance goes for income and education– too much of a lead in either direction with your partner will prove difficult. Tip the Tipper If the two of you are going out to a restaurant, observe how she treats waiters, servers, or bartenders. Is she polite, and does she treat them with respect? Someone who causes a scene because she’s not happy with minor details, belittles others in positions of service, or who doesn’t leave tips, might be a drama queen or high maintenance. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and the most important thing to keep in mind is just listening to your gut feelings and instincts when meeting someone new. Also, the law of physics deign that an ex in motion will stay in motion– don’t be surprised if you reject someone for any one of these reasons and she comes back. Hold your ground and “just say no!”
Single in the City: Freaks Bearing Gifts Dildo Shopping Tips for the Holidays
As the holidays descend upon us all, I’m reminded of an ex who bought me dildos for every single holiday of the year throughout the course of our entire relationship. Somehow, my straight friends think it’s hilarious that this woman had a compulsory need to buy me approximately eleven dildos…to screw HER with. It was cute the first three or five times, until finally the eleventh culminated in a loud argument in which I raised the apparatus above my head like a barbaric war weapon and shouted, “Is this all you think of me?” as it waggled to and fro. I even got one for Christmas (and one for Hanukkah, because she was Jewish, although I am thankful I didn’t receive even more in honor of the entire Festival of Lights.) As someone who received what feels like an astronomically high number of dildos as presents in her lifetime, I’ve put together a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning to buy your girl a new toy for the holidays: 1) This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re surprising your wifey a dildo, don’t do it around a roaring open fire with her parents in the vicinity. This catastrophe was very narrowly avoided in my aforementioned relationship. Trust me, the last thing you want is a situation on your hands where your girlfriend unwraps an ornately decorated box containing a dick in front of the woman who brought her into this world. Save the special stocking stuffer for later, in private. 2) Consider the aesthetic style of it. I get routinely made fun of by my butch friends for this, but whenever we go dildo shopping (I save the purse shopping for my femme friends) I have this  OCD thing about my dildo matching with a cute harness (preferably designer and genuine leather) which also, ideally, should match my nail polish. Now, it’s possible nobody else on earth cares about matching dildos as much as I do, but I am not really a fan of dildos that are aquamarine colored, or shaped like dolphins. Of course, this is really all a matter of preference. But you may get bonus points if you pick one in your girl’s favorite color. 3) Less isn’t more, but bigger isn’t necessarily better. No, you don’t have to buy the biggest dick on the shelf to impress your woman. Recall past times you’ve been together, similar toys you may have used, and think about the average size of what she likes. Or, just be upfront…ask and ye shall receive? Seriously, one of the eleven times I was gifted a dildo the size of a 747 and I thought to myself “Jeez, what kind of girl do you think I am, here?” 4) Don’t buy your girlfriend eleven dildos! Consider other sexy treats to surprise her with if the ol’ Dildo in a Box trick is beginning to get a little played out. 5) Be a material girl. When shopping for your new toy, do research to keep in mind any skin allergies or preferences your partner might have. Also, silicone’s always far better than rubber, which can be porous and hard to keep properly sterilized. Above all, have fun! Play hard, and stay safe. Happy Holidays.
In a hilarious turn of events, GO sent me to investigate the Menorah Horah show at The Highline Ballroom last weekend. And in order to prevent me from bowing at any more Rabbis, they even sent me with my own Jewish chaperone, Lauren Golfer! Have you seen Lauren? She’s a fantastic writer and I’m usually on top of her (here in this blog section.) I waited nervously outside of the Highline for my chaperone, ready to storm a veritable stronghold of juicy Jewesses. Lauren informed me that she would be late, that she was coming directly from a Red Lobster in New Jersey, and I thought, “Why is my chaperone is eating shellfish on Hannukah?” “Rule number one, if you want to be a Jew, is that we are never on time for anything,” texted Lauren. “Well, I am sometimes late to things and my mother nags me frequently!” I responded. “You are already halfway there,” she replied. In a mere twenty minutes, Lauren arrived, we stepped into the Highline. I braced myself, expecting a sensation much like opening a car door in summertime, when a gust of 100 degree heat just blasts you in the face as you open a car door, only the heat would be generated by Jewish women. Yes, I was ready for it all, for the opportunity to be approached by an attractive doctor who could not resist my shiksappeal, initially fooled by my name being incredibly Jewish, and then telling hilarious stories about how we met at an elaborate multi-faith wedding several years from now. At the wedding, I imagined Lauren would say something sappy, like, “Esther chased her Jewish girls with dedication; like Pokemon, she just had to catch ‘em all, and she caught this special one right here.” We opened the door and the room was filled with old straight married couples, and one man dancing on stage shirtless, wearing a Rabbi’s beard. It was as though we’d been Punk’d. “I am converting tomorrow,” I told Lauren. “Have my card! I need a drink,” she said. Though there were no single, attractive gay doctors in sight, there were quite a bevy of burlesque beauties on stage, one of which proceeded to strip next to a gigantic box of matzah balls, further ensuring my conversion. We proceeded to wait for lesbians, as eager, well-behaved children waiting for Santa Claus to appear with gifts. Our lump of coal was a man who looked like a combination of Kid Rock and Meatloaf who began to strip. “Oh my god, I’m allergic, I’m allergic!” Lauren pleaded frantically, making heaving motions. “Please…not the man nipples! No!” I said, averting my eyes. He exposed them, and they had been dipped in glitter. “Where are the lesbians?” I cried in despair. Just as we had given up all hope– we experienced a holiday miracle. The Schlep Sisters descended from on high to save the night, dressed up as superheroes sent to defend a holy temple. They danced choreographed dance moves to Madonna’s “Holiday” and ended the number in their panties with an embrace and a kiss. “That was fantastic!” Lauren exclaimed, clapping. And then the true meaning of the holiday season was made clear to me, regardless of any faith: enjoying the blessing of spending time with friends both old and new, the celebration of community and good cheer, and above all? Hot girls stripping down to a bare minimum of clothing, and kissing to 80¢s music. I feel as though Lauren and I should record this miracle in scrolls dubbed, “The Book of Lauren” and “The Book of Esther II” to be retold to faithful lesbians everywhere for the next 2,000 years. “Two things can be learned by this night,” said Lauren, sagely. “One is that the same marketing that works on gay people also works on old married Jews. Two is that we are now even gayer than we were entering the building.”
Single in the City: My Inappropriate Crush on Sarah Palin
I can’t hide it anymore. After a long struggle with guilt and shame, I’ve finally decided to come out of the closet…about my sexual attractions towards Sarah Palin, whom I unfortunately find quite the MILF. Would I ever vote for her or agree with her politics? Never! But would I hit that and quit that? You betcha! I can’t explain if, when, or why it happened…all I remember is that a friend of mine said, “So, did you see Sarah Palin on the news last night?” recently, and apparently according to her account, I got a wistful look in my eyes and said, “Yes…” with a smirk on my face. She promptly punched me in the arm and said, “Eww! Gross! You totally think Sarah Palin is hot, don’t you?” And then I was unmasked. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t agree with anything this woman says, I find her somewhat scary, and apparently she thinks she can see Russia from her house. (But the real question remains: is it possible to look down her blouse from Moscow?) I only have two explanations for how this might have happened. One is that I’ve been single for too long—meandering the gay Sahara for a compatible, single, well-adjusted woman who is actually a dyke and can spare more than five quarters on a good date—that I collapsed into a strip of quicksand between Cubby Hole and RF Lounge, stretched my gnarled hand towards the sky and in a dry, parched rasp, croaked, “Les…bians…please…give me…les…bians” before falling into a trance of desperate, inappropriate attractions towards creepy hetties on CNN. Another is, in the same vein of my straight girl friends who can’t deny their attraction to “the bad boy,” that I somehow can’t deny my attraction to a terrifying Republican who would like nothing better than to take away all of my civil rights. The good looks, the complete unattainability, the ability to break my heart. It’s all there. Staging an intervention, one friend assailed me in a fit of rage. “This is horrible! You’re attracted to cruelty and stupidity?” “On come on,” I said, sheepishly. “You mean to tell me that if you saw that woman in a dimly lit bar in the village, giving you a come-hither stare, bosom aheave, that you wouldn’t want to tap that?” “HEAVING BREASTS?” she cried. “Life is about more than HEAVING BREASTS!” It may be the by-product of reading too many trashy romance novels, but I sometimes fantasize about Sarah Palin doing something terrible and unforgivable, like hunting animals from her helicopter. I’m on board, wearing a flowing (yet tasteful dress.) “Stop the killing, please, my love!” I implore, fainting backward with my hand on my forehead. It’s then that Sarah Palin shushes me, like a sexy librarian, flings her rifle with gusto off the side of the aircraft, then takes me in her arms like A REAL WOMAN, and I am lost, awash in the smoldering, heated kisses administered by the rugged, yet buxom governor of the frosty frontier. I’m aware that this is sick, wrong, and horrible. To that, I say some people are into butt plugs. And I’m kind of into Sarah Palin. To each her own. Oh Palie, Palie, Palie. I don’t know if you’re reading GO Magazine out there in Alaska, but please know that if you ever change your political party OR your sexual orientation (hopefully both), I’m waiting with bated breath. If you ever end up taking a geography class, thereby figuring out where New York is, I’ll take you out to Serendipity so that we can share a hot fudge sundae and play footsies under the table, holding hands and giggling the entire time. It’ll be magic. And if you ever get behind gay marriage, I would definitely love to get behind you, girl…especially in a cute, form-fitting pink dress, please. Rrrr.
Single in the City: Money Can Buy Love
I recently went on a date with a woman named Roxy, whom I met online. There I was at the appointed time, waiting outside of the cafe we decided to meet at, scanning the horizon for my date. Finally, a hooded silhouette emerged from the shadows. “Oh, hello there!” said Roxy. She pulled back her hoodie and stepped into the light. Roxy looked nothing like her profile. She had an asymmetrical mullet and a bald spot on the side of her head, and her hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in weeks. The girl was wearing an old purple dress that looked like it came out of some blind grandmother’s closet and yellow Doc Martins. “I hope I’m what you expected…I tried really hard to look cute for you tonight,” she said. “Oh…you’re so sweet,” I said, giving her a big hug. We stepped inside the cafe. She had selected a coffee shop that had broken rocking-horses and Christmas lights strewn all over the place. It tried to be kitchy, but it sort of looked like a garbage heap. As we walked in, I thought to myself that I didn’t want to be high maintenance, so I should order something cheap. “Can I have a peppermint tea, please?” Roxy dug her hands into her pockets and looked up at me sheepishly. “I…don’t have enough to pay for you tonight. I’m sorry.” I was flummoxed and looked at the menu prices. The tea was $1.25. One dollar and twenty-five cents. I said, “Oh. Well that’s too bad. I have no cash and only brought my card because I thought you were taking me out.” There was a long pause. It was a Mexican standoff, with $1.25 at stake. “Well…fine,” she said. “Let’s go to an ATM, I’ll get cash.” She did so begrudgingly and at first I felt bad, but I had to check myself. I mean, $1.25? The more I thought about it, the more pissed I became, and I thought, “Jesus Christ, if you can’t afford to spend a dollar on me then you’d better just go outside and panhandle until you can afford a tea or else I’m just walking the hell out of this shop.”
Roxy did go to an ATM and she bought a tea, a coffee, and a slice of cake, which cost her $6.00 See, I’m like that, I’m a gold digger who sends women straight into the poorhouse. We talked for awhile and went back to her apartment. She lived in an old warehouse with ten roommates who had built their own rooms out of wood. She began to relay her money troubles to one of her roomies, as if I weren’t there.
“Now I’m only four dollars short of rent because I just had to withdraw some money,” she sighed, blowing cigarette smoke in the air. Afterwards, she strummed some songs on her guitar.  
Dont Pull That Trigger
Flick fizzles when it should fire
When Sexuality and Cultures Collide
An Interview with Circumstance Director Maryam Keshavarz
A Queer Fish
An Interview with The Fish Child star Ines Efron and director Lucia Puenzo
Ending is a New Beginning
Filmmaker Nicole Conn looks back at her 20-year career
Heroin to Heroine
Hole drummer Patty Schemel opens up to GO about her new film Hit So Hard
Sticks and Stoned
Hole drummer Patty Schemel lets loose in new documentary
Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf? (Not Us!)
Support an all-lesbian parody of the classic black comedy
One Woman, 48 States
Photographer Jicky hits the road and shares a slideshow of Americas wide open spaces
Dev & The Cataracs' frontwoman talks about her musical rise from Myspace to The Dinah's stage and the top of the Billboard charts
The Armory Show 2011 Dazzles Midtown
One of the world's top art showcases celebrates its 13th year
Janes AddictionsAnd How She Ditched Them
HLN host and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell chats with GO about her new book on American overconsumption and her rise as an out and proud media maven
The Dream of the '90s Is Alive in Portlandia
Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen love layer-appropriate weatherand their jobs.
The Year of the [Sad] Rabbit
Chris Pureka kicks off 2011 with a U.S. tour and her own record label, Sad Rabbit Music.
Preview: Jan Bell & The Maybelles
Urban cowgirls play in New York City
Stand-up standout Sandra Bernhard talks Tea Party, Twitter and teen suicide with her raucous brand of totally untamed candor
Vote 2010
LGBT Equality at a Crossroads in the Midterm Elections
I Heart Brooklyn Girls 2011 Calendar Release Party
2010 Calendar Launch Party for I Heart Brooklyn Girls at Southpaw
Miss LEZ Pageant 2010
Photos from the 2010 Miss LEZ Pageant at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn
Grand Central Flash Mob
Images of the Queer SOS Flash Mob "DIE-IN" at Grand Central Station, which protested lack of LGBT equality and the anti-gay bullying that resulted in recent LGBT youth suicides
NYC Glowlight Vigil To Honor LGBT Suicide Victims
LGBT advocates will gather in Washington Square Park in memory of lost teens
Stud Finder
Butch Voices Conference Forges Community Bonds
Out Lesbian Michelle C. Bonilla Delivers Her Debut Short Film
Bonilla extends her craft as Executive Producer and Scriptwriter
Movie Premiere: These Showers Can Talk
GO Magazine was on the scene at RF Lounge where Hana with girlNATIONnyc hosted the exclusive movie release party for These Showers Can Talk.
Chef Yoanne Magris Dishes It Out on The Food Network's
Renowned NYC Chef Yo whets our appetite with tasty tales of how she got her savior faire...
More Than Just a Cherry-Bomb
GO's Abby Tallmer Reviews the new rock-and-roll biopic, "The Runaways"
The Art of Anachronism
A review of musical artist Sabrina Chap's newest creation, OOMPA!
Tracy Young Tells All
DJ Tracy Young Stopped by for a chat about her career, her future plans, and what it felt like to see herself in tabloids
Exclusive Interview: KE$HA
KE$HAs single Tik Tok took the country by storm and landed a number one spot on the charts. In this exclusive interview with GO, Ke$ha talks about her sound, career path ...
Exclusive Interview: KE$HA
KE$HAs single Tik Tok took the country by storm ...
GO Magazine's 4th Annual Readers' Choice Nightlife
Our Nightlife Awards at M2 UltraLounge were a huge success! Thanks everyone for coming! 
Eden Moves to The Gates!
The fabulous New York City Wednesday party Eden, a flavorful staple of the local lesbian nightlife thrown by Maggie C Events, moved to a sexy Chelsea local, The Gates. In case you missed the party, here is GO's exclusive gallery!
Meet German Lesbian Secret Agent Stahl. Emma Stahl.
Emma Stahl, a new German webseries, is redefining the image of the femme fatale with thrills and style, through a grassroots production hitting computer screens this winter.
Confessions of an Anyone But Me Addict
“Hi, my name is Gemma. I’m addicted to Anyone But Me. For the record, I was addicted before Zachary Quinto jumped on the bandwagon and declared it was his addiction. Also, long before Liza Weil decided she ‘”wanted her ABM,” I knew I needed my ABM.” If there was a support group for people addicted to web series, that’s how I would have to introduce myself. I am a card carrying member of the ‘I love ABM’ fan club. It’s a running joke with my best friend that trying to get me to take an interest in something, anything, can be like pulling teeth. However, once that spark is ignited, I become a source of encyclopaedic knowledge on the subject in a phenomenally short time. Of course, that’s what happened with ABM. As do many Internet users these days, I have a short attention span. I have multiple windows open at once, I listen to music, have various chat programs open and Twitter notifications popping up every other second. When ABM is on my screen, however, I find myself engrossed, physically unable to do anything else. As an example, for the Season Two Premiere a few weeks ago, I clamoured out of bed at 6.30am, injuring myself as I slammed into my bedroom door and scrambled to turn my PC on. These are not the actions of someone who simply “likes” a show. Quote me dialogue and I can tell you what episode it’s from. Show me an outfit I can probably tell you who was wearing it and what they were doing. It is almost guaranteed that I will tweet at least once a day – often more — something related to ABM. Over half of the links in my Facebook have to do with ABM. I have blogged at length on my love for ABM. If you were to ask any of my friends what ABM was, they may not be able to tell you anything about the show yet but they would tell you I love it. But I promise I’m not crazy, I’m just addicted to this wonderfully brilliant show. It would be easy for me to blame Nicole Pacent’s smile. I admit that’s what first hooked me. The resemblance to a younger – only hotter— Angelina Jolie was not lost on me. However, it wouldn’t be fair to lay all of the blame on her. It may as well have been her co-star, Rachael Hip-Flores. Her character, Vivian, has become one of my favourites. Her uncertainties make her vulnerable. Her charm makes her strong. The fact that she is played perfectly by Rachael Hip-Flores only makes me love her more. Rachael Hip-Flores might just be one of my favourite people, in life. I love that she is an absolute and completely unapologetic geek who gets excited about cheese. I love that she has problems with day to day functioning and isn’t ashamed to tweet things like, ‘Few things as humbling as waving wildly in front of a paper towel dispenser before realizing it's not automatic.’ I love most of all that she appears to be completely in awe of everything that happens to her, despite being one of those people who you would not begrudge a single thing. It is a combination of the talent onscreen and behind the scenes that has me so completely wrapped up in anything and everything ABM. The writing from Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward is exquisite. The directing, again from Tina Cesa Ward, is entrancing. The acting is simply superb. You have the sweetness of the scenes between Archibald (Josh Holland) and Elisabeth (Alexis Slade), the butterflies each of them is feeling almost palpable. Then you have the passion of the scenes involving Aster (Nicole Pacent) and Vivian. My heart breaks every time these two are on screen together. In the space of one eight minute episode I have had my emotions flung from one end of the spectrum to the other. Still I dust myself off and come back begging and pleading for more. The most painful moments of ABM, however, are the spaces between each episode. The last six months in which ABM has been on hiatus have been excruciatingly painful. I’m not sure, but it may actually be worse now that Season Two has started because you know at least some of the episodes have been shot – you just can’t see them! Somehow, although incredibly frustrating, the wait makes you want more. Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward manage to give you just enough to tell the stories that need to be told but leave you throwing your hands up as the credits fill the screen. I am hungry for any piece of ABM information I can get. I read every interview that’s posted, This only adds to my love of ABM. You can tell how much the actors and the creators love being part of the show, because of the people involved and the relevance and importance they believe the show to have. Their fervour is absolutely contagious. Because of its medium, the web series is heavily dependent on word of mouth. For this show, I have a big mouth. When season two premiered, I made it my personal mission to try and get #anyonebutme as a trending topic on Twitter. No small feat when you’re up against a world of tweeters talking about the latest movie release. For the first time in my life I thought I might be twittered out. This kind of behaviour doesn’t go unnoticed. I follow almost all of the cast and crew of ABM. The first time I got an @ reply from the ABM twitter account I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole day. They’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that they’re not entirely sure what to do with me and the love I have for the show. They are always appreciative of the support everyone gives. Every time you tweet about the show or click on a link to vote you are increasing its visibility, and I’ve learnt that if I say ABM enough times then people start paying attention. When it feels like what you’re doing makes a difference, that’s addictive in any situation. Once the machine decides to choose the lottery numbers on my ticket I plan to bankroll production on this show. My only prerequisites being that they keep on doing exactly what they’re doing and that they keep that Craft service table fully stocked with cheese for Rachael Hip-Flores. I make no apologies for my love of ABM. I love it because it is all at once smart and funny and moving and heartbreaking. I love it because in those too short minutes that it fills my screen I switch from laughing out loud to yelling at my screen to struggling not to clap so that I don’t look like a maniac. I love it because when I watch it I am always smiling. I am smiling at the wonderful acting. I am smiling at the amazing writing. I am smiling because this show exists. I want my ABM. I need my ABM. I am proud to be completely and utterly addicted to ABM.
Thousands Protest NY Senate's Marriage Vote
New Yorkers protest the Senate's rejection of same-sex marriage.
Interview: Jane Velez-Mitchell
GO's exclusive interview with the Emmy award-winning television news journalist and host of HLNs Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell
From Riot Grrrls to Rocker Grrrls
Rebecca Perkins tells GO about her summer
LA's Boobytrap Party Comes East
GO sits down with Boobytrap founder Kim Anh to chat about the difference between the NY and LA lesbian scenes and their new Brooklyn party
Music Review: The Sounds, Crossing The Rubicon
GO reviews the Swedish sensation's third album
Exclusive Q & A With Melissa Ferrick
GO's Kathleen Warnock catches up with Ferrick about life on the road and her new album
L Word Recap: Season 6 Episode 5
Our guest blogger Quinn recaps all the latest drama!
L Word Recap: Season 6 Episode 4
Our guest blogger Quinn recaps!
Theatre Review: Wickets
A new comedy in NYC set inside an airplane
Lauren LoGiudice's Queens Girl
A coming-of-age one-woman show about a girl from Queens
Inside Austin's Kings N Things! An interview with Cherry Poppins
bug davidson chats with the producer of Austin's premier drag king troupe
Movie Review: Saving Marriage
Mike Roth and John Hennings new documentary about the fight in Massachusetts to save marriage equality
Film: I Can't Think Straight
Director Shamim Sarifs new lesbian must-see comedy
Film: Tru Loved
Stewart Wade's new romantic comedy for gays and their allies
DVD: Finn's Girl
Review of the new film from Laurie Colbert and Dominique Cardona. On DVD now through Wolfe video.
True Colors of The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
GO Correspondent Katie sings the praises of MichFest
The Lesbian Lounge
This online radio show is taking over the gay airwaves...
Out Artist on the Rise: In Deepest Sleep
The NYC-based out lesbian trio combine acoustic music and punk rock riffs.
Film: XXY
Argentine Filmmaker Lucia Puenzo examines gender ambiguity as it relates to desire and identity in her intriguing feature debut.
Chew On This
An interview with Chicago's hottest queer female MC.
Theater: Expatriate
Now Playing at Culture Project, 55 Mercer Street @ Broome Street, 212-925-1900, CultureProject.org.
Miss Lez Pageant '08
The 8th Annual Miss Lez Pageant rocked the Zipper Factory in NYC on Saturday Night!
I Love U People
A review of the new film from Olive Demetrius and Hanifah Walidah.
Film: Searching For Sandeep
Review of the new documentary from Australian filmmaker Poppy Stockell.
Julie Gold Gets Personal, From A Distance
Catch Julie Golds final Duplex performance on June 6, and in the meantime, here are a few words of wisdom from her talk with GO
No, No, Nanette
Review of the (now closed) new production of No, No, Nanette at the City Center.
Interview: Director Celine Sciamma Makes a Splash at Cannes with Water Lilies
GO talks to Sciamma about her new film, that has received rave reviews world wide.
Gay Bi Gay Gay at The SxSW Music Festival
Bug Davidson gives you a first hand account of South By South West's homo-friendly space.
Lucas Silveira from The Cliks On LA Ink
The Clik's frontman to get inked by Kat Von D on LA Ink.
Get Away To Martha's Vineyard!
Elope to one of the gay-friendliest on earth with a crowd of your favorite people.
GO For The Cure Tour Comes To Brooklyn
Girlz in the Hood bursts onto the scene Saturday March 1st showcasing jammin female rockstars, DJs, and mixologists.
The Cliks at the Knitting Factory!
"While I was blown away by the musicality of The Cliks set, their stage presence and band energy was captivating and contagious..."
Music: Sia - Some People Have Real Problems
Having recently admitted to having a girlfriend, there's little indie pop singer Sia can do to not catch our eyes and ears with her new record.
Theater: Jack of Tarts
"Playing at La MaMa e.t.c at 74 E. 4th Street, in lower Manhattan through February 17th, Jack of Tarts takes a bitter topic and wraps it into a coarse sugar show."
Happy Valentine's Day! You Have Cancer.
Interview with star of stage and screen Kristin Carr about her battle with cancer and her new film, Crazy, Sexy, Cancer.
All The Kings Men
A Look Inside Bostons Premier Drag Troupe!
Ill Take Her, Baby!
A review of Idina Menzel's I Stand
Piaf: Love Conquers All - The Soho Playhouse
A brilliant new play about the life and music of the French songstress...
Rebecca Drysdale is a Time Traveling Lesbian
Lesbian comedian Rebecca Drysdale's new online series takes us through time...
An Interview With Sophie B. Hawkins
The Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, singer talks to GO about love, life and her future plans.
The 2007 Emery Awards and After Party!
Don't miss the 21st Annual Emery Awards or the After Party!
GO For the Cure Tour Party Pictures!
Check Out Part 1 of GO's Pics From Our Cure Tour '08 KIck-Off Party on October 18, 2007. Keep checking back for more!
Beebo Brinker Chronicles Extended Run
The off-off broadway production of the Beebo Brinker Chronicles has extended its sold-out run.
Lea Delaria Q & A
Lea Delaria, exclusively for gomag.com!
Lea Delaria Q & A
Lea Delaria, exclusively for gomag.com!
Whats Cookin, Good Lookin?
Sandee Birdsong is the newest out lesbian to compete on Top Chef
Just Give A Girl A Bike
Karen Perrine grew up day dreaming about, admiring and taking photos of motorcycles. Now, she is the president of New York's Sirens Women's Motorcycle Club...a dream come true.
Q&A with Rachael Sage
GO reporter Maria Woehr sits down with Rachael Sage to discuss her new album (tentatively named "Chandelier"), the places her extended tour has taken her, her thoughts on her current relationship
Q&A With Kate Bornstein
Bornstein, who was born a man 59 years ago, and reborn as a woman about 20 years ago, talks about her book, her new play, and what its like to be an outlaw.
It's Big, It's Gay & It's Funny As Hell
The Big Gay Sketch Show on Logo is the first and only sketch show for and by the LBGT community. Directed by long-time LBGT activist, Amanda Bearse, it makes its cable debut April 24th.
Sadie Benning: Play Pause at The Whitney
Some readers may remember Sadie Benning as a former member of Le Tigre—she was one of the band’s original co-founders—but I know her as a video artist first and foremost. At the age of fifteen, Benning began making videos with a toy Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera. The short films take place inside the artist’s bedroom and feature a collage of texts and images, shots of Benning and her rambling, musing voice giving shape to the longings, aspirations, and confusions experienced during adolescence. Films like Jollies (1990), If Every Girl Had a Diary (1990), and Girl Power (1992) speak of early desires and feelings of loneliness, their narrator’s nascent lesbian identity and her experience of growing up in society filled with gendered stereotypes. The works have a diaristic tone; audiences feel privy to the interior life of a teenage girl, which is both child-like and wildly imaginative and yet so utterly intense, angry, and sincere as to outmatch the routine cynicism of adult life. These early videos by Benning are quite stunning and so it was with great anticipation that I approached one of her latest endeavors, Play Pause, a video installation that just ended at the Whitney. The new work does not disappoint. Play Pause is compromised of hundreds of Benning’s drawings—gouache on paper, sometimes colored—projected onto two adjoining screens. The “narrative” is loose and open-ended: presenting a day in city life, the video tracks a multitude of characters as they travel urban streets and captures some of the storefronts, advertisements, and displays that are part of the landscape. The drawings are matched with a superb soundtrack by Benning—not simply ambient city noise but music that rises, swells, pushes the street scene along. It eventually becomes clear that the film takes place in a post-9/11 setting. One drawing illustrates a screen announcing the day’s color-level terror warning, orange plus yellow. City dwellers at times seem lost, detached. And the work ends with a scene inside an airport: the heavy surveillance of security, the endless scrutiny given to travelers and their luggage. Yet still within such a climate people go on with their day. They go to work; shop; they ride the subway, walk the streets, wait for the bus. They head to the local diner and they go to the bar at night; they go to the club. They dance, eye each other across the room, flirt and kiss. Benning’s film implicitly suggests that somehow within the everyday, within both pleasure and play, there can be found a nascent resistance to fear. If Benning’s early works were characterized by the interiority of the bedroom and the confessions of its teenage resident, Play Pause opens out onto an entire world. It traverses a map of urban loneliness in search of those remaining forms of public intimacy. And nods to queer culture are still resolutely made: many of the city’s inhabitants are androgynous; a woman watches talk show lesbian makeovers on TV; those shots of city bars are gay bars; and viewers see many characters having or about to be having sex. “There’s a lot of sex—gay sex—in Play Pause,” the poet Eileen Myles writes about the film, “I keep wanting to call it Play Paws. Because it’s fun.” And, yes, it is fun. Play Pause was on display at the Whitney from April 22 to September 20, 2009—a long run, to be sure, but I still wish to see it playing.
Get Your Feminist On
Ever wish you had a rad group of women to help you with all those projects you dream up? This weekend, feminist creative collective For The Birds is offering up a festival of ideas and discussions on just that. The 4th annual The Big She Bang will be happening all day this Saturday, August 15th in the West Village. Their theme, A How To Guide for DIY (that's Do It Yourself, for anyone who needs translation) Feminism, promises a full day of workshops, panels, discussions, visual art and performances by local ladies here to empower others who want to create, share, join forces, and make change. "The theme came out of our own identification as a DIY feminist collective and recognizing that there are other groups in the area that have formed with similar inspirations and goals," says Lauren, speaking on behalf of the recently formed collective.  "We wanted the opportunity to share the resources and tools that we found helpful and give an opportunity for other groups to do the same.  Our collective members all have different backgrounds within organizing and feminism, so creating a space to share our experiences and learn from other people is really important." The festival will include a wealth of information on different feminist initiatives and projects. The panel Feminist Urban Mobility features discussion between three incredible organizations: Right Rides, a Brooklyn based non-profit that gives women and transfolk free rides home on Saturday nights; Safe Walk, which offers free walking accompaniment to anyone on Friday nights in certain Brooklyn hoods; and Holla Back NYC, a site that encourages people to snap and send in photos of street harassers. For The Birds hopes that conversations about these great causes will inspire others to start their own. "We're really hoping that the event will give women and women-identified community members access to new resources, and will create a safe space to network and feel empowered about what they'd like to see happen in their communities," says Lauren. The festival will be happening all day, but if discussions and panels aren't your cup of tea, you should swing by The Big She Bang Saturday night for an awesome line up of several female bands and musicians, including Little Lungs, Inertia, and Zombie Dogs. The Big She Bang will be happening this Saturday, August 15th from 10AM to Midnight at Judson Memorial Church at 55 Washington Square South. Admission is sliding scale $6-$10, but no one will be turned away. For a schedule of the festival and more information see http://www.myspace.com/thebig_shebang. You can learn more about For the Birds at their website http://www.forthebirdscollective.org.
Aqua Girl 2009
We caught all the action!
GO Mag Does Dinah 2009!
We were there...were you? Check out pics from GO's visit to Palm Springs for the fabulous Dinah Shore weekend! More pictures coming soon!
The L Word Series Finale Leaves it all to the Imagination
I wish I could tell you that what happened last night was not actually The L Word series finale. I wish I could tell you that the characters and storylines developed over six years met with a sense of closer. I WISH, that last night’s extended episode wasn’t a half-assed “who dun it?” that failed to answer anyone’s questions. But, no one really cared who killed Jenny anyway and if you’re like me, you’ve learned long ago not to look to The L Word for content and character development. We tune into the show for different reasons, mostly because watching straight girls make out is hot. Watching the show in a crowded lesbian bar is akin to what I imagine happens when a frat house holds porn night. We’re all just hanging around till the next racy scene and The L Word faithfully delivers a little something for everyone, knife play from Helena and Dylan, routine relationship sex from Bette and Tina, dirty cheater sex from Shane and Nikki…We have the show to thank for bringing the image of sexually autonomous women, expressing themselves outside the heterosexual dichotomy prevalent on television. At least that’s what I told myself as I watched the series flounder to a close. We were handed a few gems; Alice telling Jamie and Tasha were to stick it, Max’s fake mustache and his “framily” love, Bette and Tina finally deciding to stay together, and best of all, Shane figuring out that Jenny is horrible enough to break up with. Molly finally served a purpose when she showed up to tip Shane off on Jenny’s trickery. Shane finds the letter from Molly that Jenny never passed on along with the film negative of Lez Girls. At least we got the opportunity to hate Jenny one more time before she selfishly died (alone?) (in the pool?) (who cares?)  dragging the entire cast down to the station for interrogation from Xena Warrior Princess. And then…it was over. Does Tasha end up with Jamie? Does Alice move on? Does Max give up the baby? Does Bette stay faithful? Does Dylan sue Helena again? Now we’ll never know. I’m not sure The L Word had the responsibility to answer those questions for us though. The show had a responsibility to show that lesbians are a growing and reliable audience, that viewers are hungry for queer characters they can relate too, and that Jennifer Beals is still hot. Job well done ladies, job well done.
The L Word Season 6 Is A Dance To The Death
Now, this was the second to last episode of the ENTIRE L Word series right? This was the second to last episode of the ENTIRE series and it was told through the art of dance. Do I need to say that again? WOW, First I was afraid, I was petrified. Bette and Tina were wearing matching dresses for Christ ‘s sake. Perhaps they could have hired professional dancers to compete in place of the ladies of The L Word, then I might have been spared what seemed like the most awkward 45 seconds of my life, as I sat open-mouthed (and not in a good way) watching Jenny and Shane to perform their mating dance, mounting each other, at what was supposedly a fund raiser for children. I was left wondering what awfulness I'd just seen, just as Shane got back to the business of being Shane, and I still don’t know why, Nikki Stevens showed up and the randy hairdresser was in the bathroom with her, taking her pants down; so much for the power of contemporary dance. Next Jenny guilt trips Nikki into donating a date to the charity, then she outbids everyone to win the date for Shane, proving that she is indeed smarter than everyone else. Jenny’s even got Bette on her toes threatening to tell Tina that she thinks Bette has been cheating with Kelly. You know, if there was any episode they should have written Jessie Spano into, it surely should have been the dance competition episode. Don’t they remember when Jessie and Zack nearly won the dance off at The Max? Instead, we have Marlee Matlin showing off the fact that she did Dancing with the Stars, and I really could have done without having to watch Bette grope all over Tina in their shiny, shiny dresses. In real life, Tina has been offered a job in New York and Bette jumps at the chance to leave her dirty ways behind. They are all set to make the move with their newly expanding family until they find that their birth mother has stood them up. That’s what they get for trying to make a pregnant lady take a Greyhound bus from Vegas to LA. That’s a 7 hour ride with an hour stop-over in Bakersfield. Cheapskates. Of course the gem of the evening was Alice, Tasha and Jamie dancing to “Push It” in full Salt’n Pepa costume. I’m sorry, a 5.5 from the judges? That’s almost as lame as Tasha stealing Jamie from Alice! Alice was totally into Jamie and they were going to run away together until Tasha all of a sudden got a personality. Although beggars can’t be choosers and I’m happy with anything that breaks up Alice and Tasha. With only one more episode to go, The L Word still has lots to cover. Perhaps the series finale will feature a full musical theater number to explain Jenny’s death, “Cell Block Tango” perhaps?
L Word Recap: Cheaters Never Prosper On The L Word Episode 6
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, someone once said. They we're obviously not a lesbian. After two weeks away in London, I noticed strange new feelings while catching up with the ladies of The L Word. Where I used to experience rage at the sight and sound of Jenny Schecter, I found myself thinking funny thoughts like; "Jenny is an interesting character" and “Jenny says hilarious things.” Maybe she won me over when she called Max a "Mom-Dad". All told, I seem to be moving through Jenny hate straight onto Jenny appreciHate. The thing is she is a complex character, perhaps the only one on the show, and she does retain her fleshed out history throughout her interactions. Her multi-faceted character is written in a way that allows her to be hated by so many people for various reasons at once; the central narrative for Season 6, so it isn't a stretch to believe any of them could want her dead. Without Jenny, who would of thrown Max a Willy Wonka baby shower? It is perhaps the best idea anyone has ever had and I am pretty sure that Max should wear that costume ALL the time. It looked oddly fitting on him. The shower turned sour when Bette and Tina had to bring up the horrid fact of pregnancy; torn vaginas. At a baby shower full of lesbians, I doubt Max would be the only one hyperventilating over the horrors of childbirth. I get short of breath just sitting here. Stuck with their own childbirth issues, Bette and Tina find out they cannot adopt a baby in the state of Nevada as gay parents. The only logical thing to do then is to bring the pregnant girl to live with the two of them so she can give birth in California. Sure, no problem, I'm sure that will go off without a hitch. Oh wait, here's one, Bette has already been caught in a compromising position with her new business partner Kelly. Sure, Bette avoided Jessie Spano's advances this once, but they were caught on camera (by guess who…) having what looked like a good time and that's fine with me because it's only a matter of time before Bette breaks anyway. Speaking of the other woman, it's about time someone came between Alice and Tasha. Jamie, the hot counselor who likes to take her shirt off, seems well equipped to do the job. It always seemed logical that Alice and Tasha would end in cheating, but I did not see the ol' lesbian couple fighting over hot single friend routine coming. But who will win the Jamie prize? So far Tasha's in the lead with her police officer father sob story. Does Alice have anything up her sleeve besides fake vegetarianism? Or does she really need anything besides her blatant hotness?  Hopefully, we will find out next week, when we'll also find out if Jenny can continue to user her physic telepathic Exorcist-like powers of devil-crazy to make Shane projectile-vomit when trying to cheat.
Lessons in Lesbian Social Etiquette from The L Word Season Six
So, why is everyone so surprised that Shane and Jenny are finally doin it? Have we forgotten the premise of this show is that lesbians have a lot of sex with each other? Remember the chart? Seriously, if “Shenny” hadn’t followed the rule that a queer girl must always eventually sleep with her best friend, Ellen Degeneres would of showed up to collect their official lesbian cards from their wallets. This does not negate the fact that it is completely horrid to watch, but rules are rules people. And just when you thought we were out of clichés, enter the lesbian texting circle. Being the first to the scene of the crime, Alice sends a blanket text to let everyone know what Shane and Jenny have done and hilarity ensues. We lol because we’ve aaaaall done it too. “It’s the way that we live and love,” isn’t it though? Lest we not forget that the gays have just as much drama in the entertainment industry as they do in bed, Jenny’s film has been stolen and Alice is about to get fired from The Look for being depressing gay. Now everyone has their theories about who stole the negative and framed Tina for it. From the look in Jenny’s crazy eye when Tina accused her, I’ll put all my money on her. She’d obviously thought about the fact that the editor would still have access to the digitized footage even if the film negative went missing. But why would Jenny want the negative to disappear? Um, who really cares? I’d rather worry about the precious and lovely Alice P. Alice carries the most integral storyline of the show, illustrating the pressure from mainstream media to produce images of queerness that leave out our oppression.  By reading a letter from a fan that details an experience of violent homophobia, Alice puts her job on the line. It’s wonderful to see the truth of the matter being represented here and I’m hoping Alice chooses to speak up even more…Also, did I mention Jenny sucks?
The L Word Keeps us Guessing In Episode 2.
I’ve just had a tasty waffle for breakfast. My beautiful waffle was offered to me by my lovely friend D’arcy and as I am not a self centered jerk like Jenny Schecter, I accepted. Just two episodes in to what was supposed to be a Jenny free season and I am tempted to use up the next 3 paragraphs outlining how very much I dislike her. Lucky for Jenny, Elizabeth Berkley’s guest spot began last night so I have much more important things to talk about. Jessie Spano jazz danced her way into the hearts of budding American lesbians in the early nineties. In fact it was her who starred in my first dream about kissing a girl, Zach Morris was there too, God was that confusing. Elizabeth Berkley resurfaced last night as Bette’s college roommate which sounds like one hot pocket to me. Honestly, I couldn’t hear that much of the dialogue during her and Bette’s reunion over the cat calls from the dykes on the patio. What I did take away was that Elizabeth looks h-o-t with straightened hair and that Bette is about to go triflin’ again even though she and Tina want another baby. They’ve done so well at proving responsible lesbian parenting already haven’t they? Even Max is considering queer parenting after he “accidentally” got impregnated by his boyfriend. I don’t know why Max thought his testosterone injections would stop his reproductive organs when they haven’t even managed to drop his voice yet. While the general reaction to Max’s pregnancy has been a resounding “wtf?”, I’m excited to see where the story goes. Perhaps, with Max’s integrity, a better picture of queer parenting can be painted, but please god he needs to learn how to trim his beard or that’s going to be one scared newborn… Also of importance is Alice and Tasha’s breakup pro/con list they created. I would really like to know any of the reasons on the pro list because I genuinely have no idea why Alice wants to stay with her. Their couples counseling was worth every penny considering their therapist told them to give it up already prompting them to have “we know we aren’t right for each other” sex in the parking lot. I sure missed Dirty Alice. Oh and apparently, Jenny is in love with Shane now? I don’t know if I can stand it all. I echo Nikki’s poorly delivered sentiment, “You’re dead meat Schecter!”
The L Word Gets Back to Basics in Season Six.
I’m hung over on a Monday morning, which can only mean the new season of The L Word has begun. This being a final season hang over, you will have to bear with me through this. I woke up this morning with a vague recollection of last night’s premiere. Apparently Jenny got shot? Who saw that one coming huh? As riveting as that whole plot line insists it is, what drew me into last nights episode was it’s refreshing renewed commitment to the basics of lesbian politics. First we check back in with the ol’ standards Bette and Tina. Remember how they have a child? Being one of the only portrayals of lesbian parenting on television, Bette and Tina have been shouldered the responsibility of showing the world that two mom’s are better than one. However, counting the number of times baby Angelica is onscreen during prior seasons would amount to the slowest drinking game on the books. Season six delivers a Bette and Tina who have left their philandering ways behind in order to play socio-political lesbian parents. I for one was thrilled to see Bette give the ER receptionist an ear full when confusion ensued over how many mommies Angelica had, reminding us that indeed, Bette IS black and that lesbian parenting IS hard. Activism covered by Bette, left Shane, Jenny and that other girl to explore another stalwart of the lesbian condition, the “best friends meet the girl who comes between triangle”. It seems Shane feels real bad that she’s Shane all of a sudden since this time the victim of her faux butch stylings is her dear friend Jenny. Although tuff Shane only likes t-shirts and heterosexual women, she is a delicate flower inside who feels terrible for coming between Jenny and her poor choice in women. I’m ready for Shane to get over it. Sorry Shane, you’re gay. It’s your birthright, and furthermore, you’re responsibility to fight anyone over a girl, especially your best friend. Now Tasha and Alice, they’re in the middle of the classic “we can’t let go of this relationship even though we aren’t happy together so we’re just going to flirt with other women to see who breaks first”. Oh and I’m sorry, Papi’s back? Um…okay? Anyway, Alice got caught flirtin’ which demanded a riveting “Sure I took her number but I’m not going to call her.” performance from Leisha Hailey. That relationship has nowhere to go but down. But I’ll watch Leisha go any which way, thank you. Yes, it was a treat to see 44 minutes of revolutionary programming jam packed with the true to life perils of lesbian life. We’ve missed you so ladies, welcome back.
Change & rEvolution for 2009: The Riot Grrrl Ink Show @ Sugarland
If only every company could be like Riot Grrrl Ink...queer-centered, grassroots, and totally dedicated to producing/supporting art that is radical, political, marginalized, and non-conventional. RGI –the largest LGBTQ label in the world- is a true supporter of the artists/organizations they work with for the evolution of wo/mankind through (an artistic) revolution. So who better to celebrate the inauguration of our new President Barack Obama than with folks who themselves work for change in all mediums and spectrums of our lives?! Obama promised us change and RGI is helping to deliver it- Wednesday, January 21- at Sugarland in Brooklyn, NY. Riot Grrrl Ink is hosting a show sure to beat all the inauguration balls going on this week. The show at Sugarland will be femmeceed by Bevin Branlandingham and will feature videos by Ali Cotterill and U People. Three of the awesome artists RGI produces/supports will be playing: Athens Boys Choir, Hanifah Walidah, and Inner Princess. Athens Boys Choir, a transgender spoken word artist from Georgia spits about everything from dildos to dreidels. Hanifah Walidah is a triple threat- hip hop artist, poet, and actress- who speak out on culture, politics, and minority issues.  Inner Princess hails from Brooklyn with their gender/genre bending brand of punk rawk. All three are super radical, très genius, and uber-queer; they will no doubt rap, rhyme, and rock their politics into the ears and hearts of the audience Wednesday night.     The RGI Show is definitely a kick-ass way to kick-off 2009, a landmark time in our nation’s history. Everyone is welcome to attend, and donations are highly encouraged and appreciated! Give your dollar a voice-join Riot Grrrl Ink in celebrating Obama, rEvolution, art, and the change we need and is sure to come!   Riot Grrrl Ink Show January 21, 2009 8-11 pm @ Sugarland 221 N 9th St Brooklyn, NY 11211
The Real (Queer) World
I’ve always had a problem defining my sexuality. I dated men until I was 23, and then only women since then. Newly single and enjoying this solitude of being, I find myself holding onto “queer” as a sexual identity tighter then ever. Especially since we live in a world that loves dichotomy, where lines are constantly drawn and people are hell-bent on labeling/defining gender and sexuality with a fury. And even though it’s 2009, a new year doesn’t always bring about a new attitude, especially when it concerns sex. The LGBTQ community has always gotten shit for being themselves, loving who they do, and wanting the rights every human undeniably should have. Proposition 8, among other things, is the prime example right now of how our community is continuously denied legal rights because of our sexual orientation. After all the oppression we have faced and continue to on a daily basis, why does the LGBTQ community join forces with homophobic, heterosexist America in ostracizing queer folks who refuse to label/define their sexuality? MTV’s The Real World Brooklyn premiered Wednesday, January 7 and introduced us to Sarah Rice, a queer woman from San Francisco. Sarah has only dated women in the past, but is now in a committed relationship with a man. In a recent interview with a gay website Sarah explains how her lack of a sexual orientation (for lack of better words) has many in a tizzy. She goes on to explain how she is constantly questioned on how she identifies-gay, straight, or bi- and how she chooses to not acknowledge either three identities but instead define herself simply by who she loves. These folks Sarah speaks of- which include members of the LGBTQ community- criticize, hassle, and are dumbfounded by her refusal to define her sexuality. In the premiere episode where Sarah’s coming out and current relationship came up, Ryan (Sarah’s straight male housemate) asked her “I’m just wondering how you converted”. Converted? I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at his choice of words! The idea that Sarah could be bi/queer seemed so out of this world to him that his only reasoning for it was that she decided to switch sides. The notion that there could only be one gender Sarah is interested in screwing and that she had to choose is one that Ryan shares with many people- gay and straight. Well, Ryan (and everyone likeminded), sexuality is not a religion! The experience of intercourse can be a holy, sacred thing, but there are no rules and regulations when it comes to who your heart wants to hump. Besides Sarah Rice, Lindsey Lohan, Aubrey O’Day and Jess Origliasso (from The Veronicas) have all gotten flack for not confirming or declaring their bi/queer sexuality. Not that I want any of these particular chicks playing for our team, but whether they do or don’t should not be my- or anyone else’s- main concern regarding their character. The fact that Sarah works as an educator and advocate for survivors of (sexual) abuse using art and creative therapy does not catch as much attention as the fact that she is sleeping with a dude. Indeed, many queer folk I know and have come across (young lesbians, particularly) harshly criticize people like Sarah for being a sexual fence-sitter. In fact, many gays and lesbians refuse to date someone who is bi/questioning/queer because these people refuse to check off a box labeling their love for a.) Penis or b.) vagina. They use terms such as “traitor”, “faux-homo”, and “hasbian” to label women and men who are bisexual/queer and in a relationship with the opposite sex. This kind of ideology is an attack on bisexuality as an authentic part of the LGBTQ community as well as a call to question what exactly “queer” stands for and who it includes. This attitude also serves as a reflection of the gay and lesbian community’s own internalized homophobia. So why are some (queer) people so scared to accept another person’s queerness? Why is bisexuality still not considered a valid sexual orientation by society and the LGBTQ community? And doesn’t “queer” -as we know it now through LGBTQ/gender studies and popular definition-  encompass all sexualities, all desires, all forms of fetishes and lusts? Seems like we have a long way to go in terms of  tolerance and acceptance of all members of our great rainbow community. But what it breaks down to is simple: Love is love. It sees no color, no creed, and definitely no gender. That’s an adage I’ve had since I can remember, and it makes total sense to this day. In this real queer world of ours, it is hard enough finding someone we can connect with on a deeper level, much less fuss over what genitalia they are carrying. Just like no one has the right to out someone, no one has the right to hate on someone who won’t pick a team to play for. Especially if they are members of your own community. I give props to people like Sarah who know labels are for cans, who don’t let society push them into defining their sexual identity but instead claim and create their own. The Real World Brooklyn is on MTV Wednesday nights at 10pm.
Prop 8 Protest NYC
Check out GO's Photos from New York City's protest against Proposition 8 on November 15
YES WE (Still) CAN: Fighting Proposition H8
You know the feeling you get at the bottom of your stomach when your ex tells you s/he is getting married? You are so happy s/he finally found the “one”- but you’re upset that “one” wasn’t you.  This feeling is kind of / sort of the same one I felt November 5th, when Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential election and “No on Proposition 8” lost. Among a few bills that passed nationally banning gay marriage and denying GLBTQ rights, Proposition 8 (or “H8” as I like to call it) was officially passed in California- overturning the right GLBTQ people received a few months ago to marry .Hence, rejoicing in Obama’s victory was bittersweet, knowing that millions of queer couples were stripped of their rights after the first minority president in the history of the US was elected. How could this happen in California, the state that voted for Obama, the President –elect against Prop 8? Del Martin surely turned in her grave that night. Despite nationwide protests and rallies on November 15th that had people marching the streets of San Francisco to New York City, and Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho,  and Ellen vehemently voicing their opposition to “Yes on 8”, the majority of Californians (and Americans) still feel that they have the right to deny the queer community marriage equality. I believe Obama is a modern-day Moses that will surely lead this country out of the crisis created by years of white patriarchal oppression, that he will rebuild this nation ground up from the ruins that is the Bush Administration. But can Obama bring back marriage equality to California, to all the states of this bigoted, conflicted country? If anyone can, it’s him! I believe Obama can be the greatest political ally the queer community has seen since Harvey Milk. Our President-elect is for increased funding for HIV/AIDS, comprehensive sex education, and the repeal of our “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy. Obama supports a fully-inclusive ENDA and hate crimes legislation. He opposes bans on adoption by LGBTQ people and the federal marriage amendment. If there has every been a President on our side, it’s Obama. And if Proposition 8 is overturned, it will be because of the revolution the queer community and our straight allies continue to fight with this very president’s aid. Obama’s campaign slogan was YES WE CAN! Let’s not lose hope now. I say we adopt our future President’s motto and carry it as our own in this continuous “No on 8” fight for our right. A black man is president now people! Anything is possible- even full marriage equality.    
3way on a saturday night in Chicago
     And by 3-way I mean the TV show that’s not on TV.  It’s on the net. So Saturday night I decided to check out Reeling Film Festival’s 3way screening/after party (thanks angelique!).  I had no idea what to expect, but much to my enjoyment, it turns out this web series is actually pretty funny.  Basically the show is about some lesbians (Jill Bennett, Cathy Shim, and Maile Flanagan) that live with a straight lady (Maeve Quinlan-the milf from South of Nowhere).  They do things and say things that make me laugh a lot.  The acting is…well, of webisodeish quality, but hey the jokes are great.  I think the highlight for my pants was when Ashley from South of Nowhere showed up. Well, showed up in an episode.  Not in real life, sadly.  Granted it was for like a second, but whatever. I love her.  Also I have to say, Jill Bennett is hot. Really though, she’s totally hot.       After the screening, my newfound future lezzy lawyer friends and I headed to the cast afterparty.  The crowd was filled with older power lesbians drinking martinis and discussing politics. I mean at least that’s what I think they were doing.  That’s what power lesbians do, right?  Now, there’s something about seeing actors on a big screen and then seeing them in real life that makes me feel like a total stalker.  Even though I wasn’t doing any lurking or creeping, it felt like I was. Or at least if felt like that’s what I should have been doing.  OK, so maybe I secretly wanted to lurk Jill. Oh well.  So after some standing and some getting drunk, we got to chat with Jill for a little bit.  I got a shot of her tattoos.  Her look of concern is her saying, “crop out my back fat!” Jill you have no fat, you crazy! Later on I told Maeve that she was my favorite. What I meant to tell her was that she’s my favorite milf.  Shoot. Damn self-censoring.      We continued the party on over at Lava after some poor attempts to convince the cast to come with us.  I must say, it was an awesome night hanging out with my favorite people and checking out some funny lezbisodes.  Haha, I know, Gay.  Check out the rest of the photos at www.mizzchicago.com  See what they’re all about: Reelingfilmfestival.org 3waytv.tv
Shescape - Halloween in NYC
Shescape has to be hands down one of the best seasonal and special occasion party promoters in New York City. They lesbians parties around all the major holidays. Key events include Pride, Fire Island Dodgeball, Labor Day, and many more. In the past, they have held their parties at Tre Merli in Soho or Cafe Deville in the East Village and other various changing fabulous locations.  This time around they decided to rent out a new spot on 18th and Broadway. Lucy de Gramercy, regularly a restaurant, specializes in Latin cuisine. Small aspects still remind you that it is a restaurant, including a large cauldron of fancy kettle cooked potato chips at the bar.  Their Halloween party had a very lounge like atmosphere early on, but after Halloween Parade goers let out, the party was ready to begin. One great thing about Shescape parties is that the crowd is always classy. Always come dressed to impress and are never rude. Actually quite a friendly mixed crowd if you ask me. You won't find anybody with fake id's or who just turned 21 and want to make a fool of themselves or are trying to front real hard.  Most girls looked around 24-30.  Sometimes the door charge, which maybe a little higher than most other lesbian standby clubs ($15), is a bit of a deterrent. But as with life, you get what you pay for. The spacious dance floor was set off all night long with pop and hip hop. There were plenty of classic costumes from she-devils, to gangsters, to zombie surgeons. Notable ones included Sam Ronson and Lindsay Lohan, and two Lesbian Uhaul trucks that even included brake lights. The bar was extra extra crowded and it took on average 15 minutes to quench my thirst. They opened a second bar towards the back later in the night to cater to all the thirsty ghouls and goblins. Overall a great party in a great location, right in the heart of the city. If you missed the Halloween party, they've already got their next party lined up.  Thanksgiving Eve at the Maritime Hotel !!! Check out http://www.myspace.com/shescape for more info.
Babies Are The New Black
There must be something in the water. Or maybe it’s the election frenzy that’s bringing hope to people, promising a new beginning after eight horrendous years of Bush. And speaking of bush, it seems women around me are getting knocked up left and right and couples are pro-creating like rabbits in the springtime. What’s with this baby fever all of a sudden?   The baby boom around me started when my cousin gave birth this past July. Recruited as a last minute doula, I had the honor/insanity of assisting Sonia during the partum process. Thrilling, scary, and adrenaline-rushed, I watched my goddaughter Mia enter this world.  It was one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had, and it didn’t even involve a naked woman, chocolate covered strawberries, or a stuck elevator. Coming face to face with a delivering vagina and a newborn child radically heightened my awareness to this parenthood trend flourishing around me.   It seems that babies are the new black! All of Hollywood- Gwen Stefani, Tori Spelling, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Ashlee Simpson, Angelina Jolie, and Ricky Martin- are having/adopting children. I’m sure Ellen and Portia will jump on deck soon as well. And with a new goddaughter, a pregnant best friend, and a few other folks I know (including a wonderful lesbian couple) expecting a visit from the Stork , this blogger is left questioning her own perspective on motherhood, the paradigm of queer parenthood, and how having children affects all the dimensions of life in this mad, mad world.   Watching so many women join the Mommy club makes me anxious (but by no means feverish) to be a mother myself. In college, I wrote an essay arguing motherhood as a social construction, and I still firmly believe that women in all cultures are raised to want to procreate, to accept it as an innate, biological female urge. Truth is women are conditioned from the day that they are born to be mothers - baby dolls, strollers, and toys of this nature are just examples to prove it. The desire to be a mother is socially created and reinforced, and by no means is it a biological urge. But that’s a whole other blog.   Watching a child enter this world, seeing the glow on my best friend’s face, watching new moms ramble on and on about the joys of babydom forces me to consider so many things. Foremost, it makes me consider the struggles of motherhood. The sleepless nights and long days of feeding, cooking, changing, washing, and holding down a full-time job. The budgeting, spending, coupon-clipping and saving for college tuitions. The doctor’s visits, soccer games, piano lessons, and ballet classes to get to. The purchase of a (cringing) van. All these factors dramatically change someone’s life (style) - financially, professionally, physically, familialy, even morally and ethically.   Having a child compels me to think about all the children in this world that don’t have parents. While everyone is out reproducing, there are millions of orphans without shelter, food, arms to comfort them. Why are we bringing more children into this world when we have a world of children who need parents already?   Being around lesbian mothers-to-be obliges me to consider the trials, tribulations, and obstacles a queer parent faces. With constant bigotry and opposition like Proposition 8 and Focus on the Family reminding us that we live in a society that’s uber-homophobic towards same-sex families, queer couples who want/have kids deal with double the trouble of raising a child in a world that hates them. It also reminds me of my duties as a godmother to teach Mia acceptance, respect, love, and tolerance for all peoples, all colors, all sizes and sexualities.   Most of all, this baby boom pushes me to praise the power of the pussy! What mighty beings we are, that we can create, nurture, and bring life into this world! Men might be physically superior to (most) women, but when it comes to birthing a being, they have nothing on us.   Thank Goddess I find the concept of motherhood appealing and pregnant women to be super hot; I’d be screwed at this time being constantly surrounded by them if I didn’t. Whether it’s pure coincidence or if I’ve just reached the age where my peers are ready to populate the earth with their offspring, I look forward to a generation who will hopefully grow up in a better world, a more tolerant, respectful, loving, Obama-run society. When I look into my goddaughter Mia’s eyes, I see myself in a few years, raising my own little feminist. But a soon as she spits up her lunch, I smile and hand her back to Mommy. Someday, I’ll drink the water, but for know, I’m happy just swimming in it.
Dear Chicago Nightlife,
Dear Chicago nightlife, I miss you. I've been MIA and this is why : I've been hurting and you know what doesn’t feel good? Getting stabbed in the hair, twice. Or alternatively once in the face and then once in the hair. I mean I imagine it wouldn’t feel good. It’s never happened to me physically at least. Emotionally, yes. For me it’s been a summer of getting stabbed…in the hair.       So here I’m supposed to talk about nightlife and fun times and all that jazz.  Don’t get me wrong, I  love to do the charleston (due to lack of a good lindy hop partner) on the dance floor, drink strawberry linchburgs with extra jack,  do the the flirting and the photo taking for my nightlife site www.mizzchicago.com, but there are times when somehow I find myself stuck in soul crushing situations that get so dehydrating.  I’ve found myself stuck in a summer of heartache where girls I end up having great likes for just keep finding ways to make my hair and heart hurt a little more.  So rather than going out I just want to stay home and read about anything the opposite of lesbian. Like about donating sperm or about how to start a fantasy football team.      And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. OK no, I lied.  I hate foosball. Or football? Whatever it’s called.  Well the point of all this being, I haven’t had nightlife material to write about because of the hair and heart hurting factor.  I mean wow; I haven’t really been out since Chicago market days.  And I blame the few silly girls that caused me to become sad and avoidant of the nightlife. Well them, lots of weekend work and getting sick for two weeks. No, I’m just going to go ahead place blame on the girls. I hate them. Someone find me a good one please.Thanks! Preferably a (hot) femme one thats funny and smart. But not too funny, I dont want to get crows feet.   In fact everyone go ahead and email me with someone you know that you think would be good for me. No crazies, rebounders, snakes, vampires or atomic bombs or cartoon characters please.  Send all nominees to jenny@mizzchicago.com.      Anyhow, I’ve had to live vicariously though the lives of Jed and Alex K, my new mizzchicago.com photographers.  Thanks to them they’ve been able to capture moments I couldn’t due to heartaches or busyness. Thanks guys!      Although I’m sad the summer is over, it’s a new season and its time to get down and out.  My season of the love blues is over and I think its time to celebrate.  In fact Jenae, Chicago Dirty Girl promoter, and I are going to be throwing the dirtygirliest and mizzchicagoyiest Halloween party ever existed. Check us out its cause its going to be a gay old time: Spooky n Sweet, Friday October 31st@ spot6, 3343 N Clark.  Its going to be two floors of hotties dancing to the sounds of 4 DJs!! We've also got all sorts of giveaways including someone from our local sex shop, Batteries Not Included! No just kidding we're not giving someone away, just some cool stuff, OK? SO If you’re in Chicago come say hi.  in the meanwhile Im going to work on getting some nightlife material to write about.  summers over and i dont care, im still going out. who's gonna come have a drink with me?
Tennessee Williams' Small Craft Warnings
Tennessee Williams does not write short plays. He does not write plays that are easily digested and he does not write plays that are meant solely to amuse. His characters are not simple, though they may appear so when first introduced. Small Craft Warnings is a typically strong Tennessee Williams play.  It is a long, exhaustive, uncomfortably close look at 9 of the saddest creatures you would expect to find in a small-time bar in a slow seaside town. I found myself laughing at times, sometimes unsure if I was laughing at the situation, the characters, or my own unsettling familiarity with the two.   The characters are each introduced as recognizable archetypes- big, brassy-mouthed woman; testosterone-fueled oaf of a man; 2 tense gay men; pathetic and spineless slob; thin, beautiful, mentally touched slut; old, alcoholic, depressed doctor who continues to practice illegally; friendly bartender who tries to hold the pieces together.   With brassy Leona taking the human form of the storm outside, the audience is forced to endure the same venom and crass that the woman lashes out against everyone in the bar. We learn through the bar fights and the whispers and the cries of the bar patrons why none of these characters want to go home. Some of these characters are physically unwell, some have had death touch them, some are losing what they once had. Some don’t even know what it is that they want in the first place.   All are lonely.   Small Craft Warnings is a study in loneliness and where it can take a person. Some fall in to desperation, some panic, some flee. All are alive, if only barely.   As Williams said in a 1973 interview, “I wouldn’t say death is my main them, Loneliness is.” At The Workshop Theater Company - Mainstage Theater. 312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor. Through October 5th. www.smarttix.com
Friday Night At A New Spot ended up at a Classic New York Lesbian Standby
Showstopper a once a month party at the trendy space BLVD in the Pink room is a good concept, but just doesn't draw the crowd needed for a good dance party. $10 cover was a waste, as the drinks inside were the same price. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying ten for a drink, especially when they were well mixed and strong, but there just wasn't enough people to get anyone excited, single or not. The crowd that goes there definitely has more fashion sense and looks better. Music was good, then started to wander into weird techno zone. When is the last time someone danced to house music? Save me. The space is awesome though, as it is usually a straight club. Chic, modern and clean, definitely a club and not a bar. Lounge area all had reserved seating, wtf? Damn straight it can't be everyone's birthday. It seems like that would be the only reason to go too. I went here a year ago, hoping that the crowd would pick up but it just seems that everyone has migrated elsewhere. And on that note to not make the night a bust, we too migrated to a New York staple to sweat out our alcohol. Kind of disappointed since I love a nice chic trendy atmosphere, but Showstopper is definitely not where it is at. It was so empty that nobody but my friends noticed I drunkenly slid to 3rd base on the vinyl flooring down the walkway. That may have been the highlight there. Over the bridge to Cattyshack ! it never disappoints tho. We got there, the music was current, The upstairs was chill. Catty always has a good mix of people all all different LGBT communities.  Downstairs is Hip Hop, upstairs is 80's.  We enjoyed the rest of the night there with some good dancing to take us into the wee hours of Saturday morning. 
Beating the Blues at Bluestockings
Sometimes I hate the world. At times I wish it would spontaneously combust. I hate that there are millions of starving people around the globe when I see perfectly good food go to waste and girls starving themselves to be skinny. I hate that today’s teens look up to people like Paris Hilton, The Hills girls, and Soulja Boy as role models. I hate that feminists are still looked at as she-devil dyke man-haters.  I hate that my parents don’t get/accept my queerness. I hate that there are still some people in this country that think we are not ready for a black president. I hate working for a government that is patriarchal, corrupt, and unjust. I hate eating meat knowing the cruelty animals suffer because of my carnivorous cravings. All these things, all the injustices we suffer at the hands of bigotry, imperialism, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia give me the blues like nobody’s business. And when I hate the world and get blue like this, the only place I can find some solace- besides my sleep- is at Bluestockings, a radical little bookstore/fair trade café/ activist center on Allen Street in Manhattan. Always smelling like a strong cup of joe, this cozy little spot in the Lower Eastside is a queer feminist bookworm’s nirvana. Surrounded by awesome literature, cute girls, and the white noise of NYC, Bluestockings is the ideal place to go when you need to escape into a book, search information for your cause, hear some inspiring words, need the company of cool strangers, or just crave a cappuccino and a window seat to this mad mad world. I can easily spend an hour at Bluestockings just browsing their book selection.  In a world where today’s lit lovers are Amazon.com’s best patrons, I prefer to support indie bookstores like Bluestockings in an effort to preserve the precious process that is the art of reading: the dance between the books and the reader in the bookstore, the paperback the reader will pick, the places they’ll go together…. I can’t get that kind of satisfaction from the internet. Book-hunting at Bluestockings is where it’s at if  reading is like dating for you- you need to feel the book/person out before you take them home with you. Besides your bestsellers and popular picks, you can run your fingers across shelves and shelves stocked with literature on gender/queer and cultural studies, science fiction, global capitalism, war and militarism, class and labor, and poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. They have tons of books on all subject matter, documenting countless lives, fantasies, and movements in his/herstory. Hence, Bluestockings is not your average bookstore, and its literature and wares are not your ordinary books and products. Green and girl-friendly, you can find diva cups, organic menstrual pads, T-shirts, calendars, notebooks, CD’s, and DVD’s- awesome products that benefit your body, mind, and spirit. Another of my favorite aspects of Bluestockings is that they host readings, performances, workshops, films, and discussions on a myriad of subjects on an almost daily basis. Here is the place to be proactive! With almost nightly events, Bluestockings supports all movements that challenge hierarchy/ systems of oppression, and promotes democracy, equality, and art. Groups like Dyke Knitting Circle, Feminist Book Club, Indigenousness Voices series, and Women’s/Trans Poetry Jam & Open Mic run on a monthly basis and are excellent ways to create and  bring communities together in a safe, positive space. Last Wednesday night, I attended one of Bluestockings September events Benefit for Books through Bars and Prison Legal News Presentation: Incarcerated Women: Conditions, Profiteering and Resistance. This forum focused on the female prison population that has tripled within the past 20 years and the deplorable conditions these inmates suffer within the correctional system. "Women Behind Bars" author Silja Talvi, founding editor of "Prison Legal News" Paul Wright, former drug war prisoner Yraida Guanipa, and Books Through Bars co-founder "Resistance Behind Bars" Vikki Law presented an eye-opening and alarming discussion on the lives of incarcerated women, our bogus drug laws, the privatization of prisons, the resistance movement inside/out of the prison system, and hoe prison functions as a tool of social control, slave labor, and institutionalized racism. Watching these activists fight the very system that once oppressed them reminded me of how much goes on in the world that we are (kept) blind to, how injustice prevails but the need to revolt and resist is vital, now more than ever. It’s forums like this one, like the kinds that Bluestockings hosts, that make it the raddest place on planet earth, or at least in NYC. Bluestockings by no means cures all the ills of the world. It does not have the infinite selection of literature that you can access at the click of a mouse. My being there does not directly make a difference in my life, in the world. But what Bluestockings does is remind me that there are places that promote and inspire change, places I can go to if I’m bummed and know I’ll leave there feeling at least 50% better. Bluestockings promotes change, peace, and revolution, and allows for marginalized voices to be heard, provides a sanctuary for inspiration-homeless artists. Bluestockings offers an alternative to Barnes and Nobles, to bars and shopping malls. It is the alternative to mediocrity, consumerism, complacence, and run-of-the-mill in a world of retail therapy and overstock. If you catch a case of the blues as often as I do, don’t let them beat you down. Grab your journal and run over to Bluestockings; read Bitch magazine, browse the poetry section, and sip on some chai. Take a deep breath, and feel Bluestockings change your colors immediately.
The 2008 VMA Eye Candy Awards
Am I the only queer that still tunes in year after year to watch the MTV Video Music Awards? Not that this particular awards show targets/caters to the GLBTQ community in any way, but as 21st century homo sapiens, can we really turn our faces to such a heavily propaganda-ed event? Can a girl really resist the glitz and glamour of VMAs, especially during a non- L Word season? Unable to myself, I tuned in and focused on the most important aspect of the event: the hot Hollywood chicks showing off their (musical) goods. The theme for this year’s VMAs was “Nothing is as it seems”. Well I beg to differ- the show was exactly how it seemed- unremarkablely ordinary. Except for a few sets used by Paramore and the Jonas Brothers that masqueraded as locations other than the Paramount, everything else lacked magic. What was definitely not an illusion was all the eye candy the show provided. From the usual stunning starlets to some sizzling surprises, this year’s VMAs were chock full of foxy ladies strutting their stuff. The ladies indeed looked so smoking that I just had to take note of every knockout that was present, presented, or performed. From the crazy planet known as Hollywood, the 2008 MTV VMA Eye Candy award winners are:   Britney Spears- Looking more refreshed and lucid than ever, “It’s Britney bitch” finally made a real comeback, opening the show with quirky Jonah Hill and scoring the most awards for the night (Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year). I’m not really a Britney fan, but seeing her sparkling smile and hot bod covered in a shimmering, silver sequined dress was enough to make me forget that she married K-Fed and says “ya’ll” a lot.   Rihanna- Opening up the show as a gothic cake-topping leader of a “Cirque de Zombies” dance troupe, Chris Brown’s main squeeze scored with every outfit throughout the night. Whether it was in dominatrix styled dress or biker bitch gear, Rihanna's curves were constantly hugged by all black attire, making her the night’s sexiest (and scariest) siren as she performed “Disturbia” and “Live Your Life” with T.I.   Katy Perry- With a dazzling, red-lipsticked smile and Wonder Woman-esque satin get-up, this fake-bi brunette bombshell looked – and sounded- awesome. Very good at getting both queer and straight folks in a tizzy, Katy had the audience all ears as she covered Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” and sang her own chart-topping, sorta Sapphic hit “I Kissed a Girl” (even though MTV cut these performances short with commercials). I still don’t believe that she kissed a girl and liked it, but believe that she looked damn good in a white and gold halter and hot pants.   Demi Moore- In complete MILF mode, Mrs. Kutcher stepped onstage to present the award for “Best Male Video”, showing off her killer gams in a short black skirt. This “Striptease” star had me wishing I was Ashton for a day. Demi certainly affirms the old adage of women like wine being finer with time.   Taylor Swift- Introducing the beloved Jonas brothers’ set, this blue-eyed blonde country sensation in a pretty pink dress is beautiful jail bait for sure. Taylor has legs for days, and a body that I can’t comprehend how Joe Jonas resists, holy promise ring or not.   Lindsey Lohan- Looking oh-so-Sapphic in Bette-ish attire, LiLo must have had Sam sweating in her  seat. Slender and elegant in a sleeveless tuxedo shirt and black pants, Lindsey co-presented the awards for the VMA Dance Battle and the “Best Dancing in a Video” with Ciara, begging any dyke to wish we could officially welcome her into the Queer Club.   Pussy Cat Dolls- Okay, so these girls can’t really sing. But they can really dance, scoring the award for “Best Dancing in a Video” this year.  The famous fivesome looked ravishing in pastel colored dresses and white pantsuit, seemingly representing the United Nations of Barbies. When I grow up, I want a manage a cinq with these dolls.   Hayley Williams – This wild red-headed, feisty emo chick was bouncing with energy as she performed “Misery Business” in a faux Whiskey a Go Go set with her band Paramore. With a tiny but spirited body and in head-bang inducing tight yellow jeans, Hayley rocked her way into the hearts of Suicide Girls everywhere.   Pink- This maybe queer crooner gave us the best performance of the night! Looking super-blonde and uber-fierce in an electric blue gabardine and black body suit, Pink was breaking shit and singing her heart out to “So What”. With electric tape covering her nipples and a gluteus maximus to die for, our favorite divorcee had everyone wanting to start a fight- for her heart.   Christina Aguilera- Proving that having kids does a body good, Xtina looked fantastic and futuristic in a caped superhero bodysuit and banged blonde locks. This former Mouseketeer was begging to be rubbed the right way as she belted out a 2008 dance version of her hit “Genie in a Bottle” and her new hit “Keeps getting Better”. For sure she does!   Lauren Conrad- So she’s not the smartest cookie in the jar. The girl still looks awesome in an empire-waisted white mini dress, bearing cleavage like nobody’s business. This Hills hottie presented the “Best New Artist Award” to Tokio Hotel, and had some of us wishing she’d leave the Hills for WeHo and go gay, even if it was just for Shane.   Kim Stolz- our very own queer Top Model contestant, who is now a news correspondent for MTV, looked femme and fabulous in a loose-fitting little black dress and long dark locks. I still prefer Kim when she’s more butched out, but being a cherry chapstick lesbian works for Ms. Stolz too. Katy should have kissed Kim; I’m sure she would have liked the taste. Other winners of the night included Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Linkin Park, and Tokio Hotel. The highlight was definitely Jordin Sparks calling Russell Brand a “slut”, standing up for “celibate” teen pop stars everywhere. And although its ratings were higher than the previous two years, this year’s Video Music Awards show was pretty bland, spiced up only by the sexy senoritas I named.  Besides a few key performances by Rihanna, Pink, and Christina Aguilera, there were no show-stopping, breathtaking moments. I guess MTV’s usual shock and awe shtick for the VMAs are a thing of the past. Things really were as they seemed- hip hetero Hollywood stroking its collective ego and reveling in their video musical genius. Hot women, as usual, saved the day.       
Queer Activism--meet your new friend, Branding.
Tim Gill is a wealthy, white, male US citizen. One can only imagine the endless privilege available to someone like him. The fact that he is a wealthy, white, gay male, US citizen of course compromises his access to every privilege extended through institutional patriarchy. However, so many gay men like him, who can hide their difference and maintain their "normalcy" in the boys club, do just that. Maybe Tim Gill did that for awhile, he made his money, a lot of money. But these days the software millionaire has stepped outside the inner circle, in order to reach out, around, up and down, to all those on the fringes who are fighting against marginalization. The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado was founded by Gill in 1996 with the mission of "financially supporting nonprofit organizations that enhance the quality of life in Colorado and promote equality for all people, while highlighting the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. " The Fund's policy is to award grants to non profits serving minority and deserving populations, non of them lgbt, with the stipulation that the fund's name, 'The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado" always be prominently displayed in their literature. That means supporters of The Latina Initiative, Care and Share Food Bank, Pike's Peak Library District, Latin American Education Foundation, and Central City Opera to name a few, will all see and hear about The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado and know that they've made their important programming possible. This in effect creates positive PR for lgbt communities by raising awareness that lgbt groups exist, thrive, and contribute. Gill is using the tools of consumerism-advertising, branding, incessant messaging, to firmly press the words and with them the idea and reality of gay and queer lives into the everyday experiences of conservative communities. It is even more ambitious work considering the locale. Colorado is not New York, it's not California, this is not another 'gay liberal throwing their money around'. Imagine if you will, a conservative, small town hockey mom passing out supply kits covered in Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado logos while she is volunteering with her fellow church goers at the local homeless shelter. Increasing the prevalence of the word "gay", especially in spaces of positive association, goes far in making the word just a word. Not scary, threatening, or politically charged, just another word in our everyday. What's even more enjoyable is that he's taking the disenfranchised model of non profit social service provision and made it an empowered locus of organizing for all minority groups affected by oppression. Institutional oppression, whether experienced by a gay person, a person of color, a gender queer person, a woman, an immigrant, it all derives from the same site of fear. The withholding of resources is not based on any one difference, but any difference that can be sighted in order to deny privilege to many for the sake of a few. Attention to differences among the different is a tool of oppressors, used to keep us fighting each other for scarce resources. Tim Gill provides a model of non profit funding that celebrates a common objective of equality and resource management rather than our usual fight to champion ones own oppression over another marginalized group. To hear more about his efforts, listen on Marketplace by American Public Media.
Eden @ Union Square Lounge downstairs Coffeeshop
Finally a breath of fresh air in the New York scene!  We have gone too long without a home for lesbians who are gorgeous, have money and know how to party.  While the spot has a lounge atmosphere and is a cozy size, it was quite packed at 11pm and just got more and more packed as the night went on.  Best part is that there was no cover, but don't be mistaken there are a few ground rules that I have no problems with at all.  1. No Men, saw a few fashionable gay men, but just leave your men at home thanks.  2.  Dress Code, they said just look like your going out to dinner, so just dress up ladies.  But they were pretty chill about it, no bullshit at the door.  But I definitely respect their wishes, since they were extremely nice and still let me in.  Lets just say there are other long running spots in the city with a horrible looking crowd that enforce silly headgear rules.  This spot is fancy, have cute drinks and even a menu for if you get there earlier.  It was a mix of 20's and 30 somethings that resembled a classic LA mix.  They had a sweet DJ that was groovin' and as the night progressed chairs were removed to lay a mini dance floor.  No extreme bootay shakin' but it's okay, I can always do that at home.  Overall it was a lovely Wednesday night, and to be honest the only Wednesday night that is worth going to in New York.  Brooklyn's Metropolitan comes close, but Eden definitely has that New York flavor that club goers crave.  As a jaded lesbian new yorker, I was thoroughly impressed.  They even said thanks for coming as we left.  When is the last time staff said that to you at any of the regular old crusty establishments? Check it out and Enjoy It !
Jersey City's Pride
At summer’s end, most of us queer folks have had a good fill of Pride fun. We’ve pretty much covered the Pride basics for the year:  rocked the rainbow flags, re-connected with old friends, made out drunkenly with ex’s, and cheered on our queens and dykons. Nevertheless, the Jersey City 8th Annual Pride Festival (August 23rd) came so late in the GLBTQ Pride season that it served as a refreshing reminder of what Pride festivals stand for, how they function and serve our populace.  As a GO! Volunteer, I had the honor of handing out this August’s music issue to all the pride-goers, killing three birds with one stone: talking to the eye candy, getting first-hand fodder for my blog, and promoting my favorite publication. Being a magazine fairy also allowed me to observe Jersey City Pride from the perspective of a queer woman, one who perceived some pretty awesome particulars about this Pride event: how diverse we are as a community, how radical our artists are, and how this generation is so damn out and proud. Almost all Pride events are diverse (especially in the NYC/NJ area), filled with great music and hot men/women running around rainbow-covered. Jersey City Pride was no exception. What a cultural group of gays we are! Black, Irish, Italian, Asian, Hispanic, Indian- you name the race, and they were at Jersey City Pride, representing! Grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles-we were all there celebrating ourselves. From empanadas to gyros, funnel cake to Italian sausage, magazines to clothing, novelty items to life insurance, even the festival food and merchants were markers of how diverse we are a people. Because Jersey City is such a perfect melting pot, many of its queer residents of all ages and colors attended, reflecting on how queer politics are no longer the white-gay-male agenda of yore. JC Pride had some awesome artists grace the stage. As a volunteer, I was able to catch some inspiring performances by Dani (songstress, lyricist, spokenword artist), Rhythm Locura (NY's premier LGBT Latin dance group), and Naommon (European electro-pop artist). These GLBTQ artists’ music was the perfect soundtrack for a Pride, especially an urban one. Mara Levi, Lori Michaels, Odd Girl Out also performed at the event, demonstrating eclectic queer girl sound. And how about this Pride’s youth attendance? The street was flooded with baby dykes and young gay boys, all seemingly between the ages of 15-20. It seems like pride events are especially important to this generation of queer kids because it allows them a space to be proud of who they are, who they love, and where they live, especially when our daily lives tell us otherwise. What was especially remarkable was that besides rainbow colored clothing, some of these baby queers rocked “Obama” tees! Out and proud, political and loud, JC 8th Annual Pride proved to everyone on the Hudson that our queer community is very much alive. This year’s Jersey City Pride theme was “Keeping the Vision Alive”. It looks to me like this NJ city’s queer community was doing just that. Keeping the vision alive that one day we will no longer need Pride events, that every day will be Pride. Keeping the vision alive that our next president will respect, support, and embrace us as equal Americans. Keeping the vision alive that this generation of queers will never have to fear for their life because of who they are. Keeping the vision alive that we stand strong as a community who will achieve human rights in all aspects. Keeping the vision alive that this racist/homophobe/misogynist society will one day accept us all-the trannies and the bulldykes, the bears and the lipsticks- as people, as neighbors, as fellow brothers and sisters. Keeping the vision alive that we are the arty, passionate, revolutionary, and proud population who love beyond borders. Keeping the vision alive that no one can throw a party like we can.
Why I get "Catty" on Fridays
The moment my eyes flitter open Friday morning, I think “Cherry-Popping & Frisky”. As odd as it is for my first thoughts to be bacchanalian, I look forward to the first evening of the weekend to get into social butterfly mode. No place better to spread wings than one where you feel safe exuding your gay-ness. And there’s no better place to start the weekend then Cattyshack.  A den of booze, beauty, and beats, bars like Cattyshack don’t normally lead me to think about the importance of queer, female-centered spaces. New York City dyke bars, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, Fire Island, and even Babeland stores are all other safe sites that exhibit the dynamic of queer girl culture. But besides these and Pride every year, where can a gay gal go to get her groove on without fear of discrimination and homophobia? After this weekend at Catty, I was especially reminded of how, outside of these queer dance parties and select scenes, there are very few social spots where I can safely hug, kiss, or grab my girlfriend’s hand/ass in the Tri-State area. As sexually diverse and progressive as NY/NJ may be, there are hoods that will surely have wagging tongues, disapproving stares, Bible thumpers, and even a threat or two to my security. It’s hard to believe that in 2008, people still look at me and my partner like we are two-headed monsters invading Midtown on a Sunday afternoon. That’s why I thank Goddess for gay bars. Places like Cattyshack allow lesbian, bisexual, and trans people agency to affection, acceptance, and discourse in a safe space.  It’s not just a gathering of dykes looking to drink and dial, stalk their ex-girlfriends, or prey on potential one-night-stands; it’s a haven that lets queer women be free and 100% themselves. In such queer spaces as Catty, dykes can get down and dirty on the dance floor, demonstrating their prolific libidos or escaping the bed death they’re suddenly suffering from. The bar becomes a confessional for lesbians, where the priest is the hot bartender and a few shots of Patron become penance. It’s such a space where you can come to stare out into oblivion, contemplating your own lesbian drama without a hetero romantic comedy on the tube to irritate you. Best of all, Catty is where you can look like a boy with the comfort in knowing you'll get treated like a boi. A place like Cattyshack is vital to my queer womanhood. I don't just go to unwind, get a cold brew, and stare at the long-legged femmes waltzing up the outdoor deck steps for a smoke. Away from a home and work filled with TV, radio, and other hetero-centered distractions, I go to Catty to share moments, trade war stories, create memories, and catch up on celesbian gossip with friends and family, the "othered" others like me who can be their complete Sapphic selves without harm or judgment. It has been almost forty years since Stonewall, since it was taboo, damning, and dangerous for dykes to convene in such spaces. So why do I get Catty on a Friday night? To celebrate how far we've come as queer women, and continue to fight for our right to party.  
Gay Marriage, My Mother, and Gossip's Beth Ditto
Ya'll don't know my mom. Mother's day is as important to her as Christmas is to a seven year old. She loves to Mom. Let's turn 'Mom' into a verb for second. When it comes to gay civil rights issues, she adores Moming me and all my friends. She becomes Mom to the Max. Margaritas with Mom is the name of her therapy session that she holds for all my friends who’s Moms don't talk about gay issues. So the morning same sex marriage was ruled a fundamental right on May 15, 2008, she was on the phone with me planning my wedding (I’m not engaged) and asking me if any of my friends were getting married (she wants to make sure she's invited of course). Her compassion and excitement left me teary-eyed eyed but celebratory, and I spent the next 6 minutes dancing around my kitchen to the Gossip's civil-rights anthem Standing in the way of Control (I played it twice). I have several friends from college who have since gotten “gay-married” - these are same ones that introduced me to Gossip in college while taking women's study classes and steadfastly listening to Riot Girl bands together. It was also the year we were of age to vote in our first presidential election - Bush won. It was a major bummer. Beth has said that the lyrics to Standing in the way of Control were written as a response to the United States government’s decision to deny gay people the right to marriage. She says, of the song, “Nobody in the States was that surprised or shocked by what Bush did, but it made everyone I know feel helpless and cheated.” Beth Ditto was one of our inspirations and idols before she was all that 'famous.' And I think Mom and Beth would have a riot together at a Margaritas with mom session. Please enjoy our new episode of Rock-Star Guide to the Galaxy with Brace Paine of Gossip. It was produced in a celebratory spirit on the weekend after Mother's Day and after another civil rights battle was won. Thanks for the inspiration Gossip! For more on the making of this episode visit the Rhapsody blog. Click here to watch the video!   (Check out our new Rock-Star Guide to the Galaxy video exclusive with Brace Paine of Gossip at my blog www.shaevoyeur.com )
The 2008 Dyke March
Pictures from this year's Dyke March In NYC!
The things you say when you meet Clea Duvall - Los Angeles
Uh uh, (clears throat). Ahem, so if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I’m the co-producer of this Rhapsody series called “Rock-Star Guide to the Galaxy”. Uh huh. Well, so we're in LA to work with this particular band that for the moment shall remain nameless. Uh huh. Anyway, it's nice and hot, like LA should be, and we’re in the green room at the Roxy and who walks in?! Clea Duvall. Uh huh. I’ve been working with a lot of talent lately and I'm always calm, cool and professional. But a shout out back to my regulars – you’ve heard me mention before that Clea is one of my favorite actresses – right up there with Winona Ryder.. Uh huh. So pardon me while I take a moment to recount the story for you all. Part 1: Clea walks in and stands in a corner (the corner that I'm standing in holding my video camera); she then turns to me, puts her hand out and says, "Hi, I'm Clea. You look familiar." Uh huh. Turning red, eyes blinking, jaw dropping. I remember my name and introduce myself "We’re from San Francisco, so...uh..I don’t know where we would have met. But, well, you obviously look familiar." Clea: blink blink Smiles. Nods head. Exit stage right. Part 2: The VIP area of the Roxy. It's the end of the show and I have to remind myself to breath due to so many hot situations already. Deep slow breaths. Clea turns around and asks me, "is life that hard?" At that point, I just crack up laughing. We start chatting and at some point we get on the subject of smoking cigarettes and I share my theory, that “half of the addiction to smoking is not just the nicotine, but the deep rhythmic breaths you take while you smoke." WTF is that!? Who says that? I do a lot of yoga. Part 3: Inspiration. I finally come out to Clea that I've a big fan of hers since I was 16. Then I get worried that maybe I should check my facts before I open my big mouth, but before I can find my way through the space-time continuum she just asks me my age and it turns out she started acting when she was 18 (that means I was 15, so we're all good). Then she shares that some things she saw while growing up influenced what she does now. I thought that was so sweet, that I got lost in my thoughts, and forgot to ask her what it was that influenced her! Clea, if you read this blog, we all want to know what it was that influenced you while you were growing up. You have obviously been an inspiration and have influenced a lot of folks from my generation and younger. So, um, will you be in my movie Licorice? I'm writing a coming of age drama that you would be perfect to play the role of the older sister. I already produced a short scene from it and gave a copy to one of your friends in that band we all know and love, (uh huh, just clearing my throat again in case you aren’t getting the hint). In case you missed it, here's a link to the Rock-Star guide to the Galaxy webisode with CSS. CSS Rock-Star Guide to the Galaxy Check out www.shaevoyeur.com for a sneak peak to the Rock-Star guide to the Galaxy webisode with Uh Huh Her coming this August.
Los Angeles Pride
Another year, another Los Angeles Pride weekend has come and gone.  Friday marked the beginning of a rainbow filled party extravaganza.  Friday evening was the notable dyke march.  I was unable to attend but the festivities were held smack dab in the middle of West Hollywood.  Not usually a fan favorite, those who went concurred very few ladies showed up to demonstrate their support.  Whether it was because of late work hours or the lack of interest in butch girls and their leather apparel, who knows?  Don’t fret the dim enthusiasm for celebrating dykeness, because later that night the girls came out in droves to Truckstop to start the Pride parties right.  Wall to wall bodies, dancing and mingling, looking hot and ready to trot. Saturday marked Dyke Day LA.  Providing a getaway from the West Hollywood scene, this took place on the eastside, Silverlake to be exact.  Perched on top a grassy knoll high above the streets, when I arrived there were far less lesbians than I expected.  There was fertility poetry, music, comedy and about 5 or so tables promoting massages, magazines, spankings, etc.  Most of those in attendance at that time had brought picnics and their children.  These are of course all the lesbians who plan on taking full advantage of the recently passed right to marriage law.  I can’t even find a date, let alone think of starting a family, but good for them.  As you can assume, my stay was short lived.  Apparently though as the day progressed, so did the crowd.  The numbers grew and the entertainment shifted to enjoyable.  That night the ladies of FUSE threw a Pride party at a very straight bar called Republic.  We were only designated the upstairs area and to my disappointment, there was no regulation of the Mr. McStraighties from coming upstairs to gawk at us ladies.  We did not need any additional bodies, the place was tight, cramped and packed.  We were seeping from all areas.  The music was loud which made conversation null and void.  It was a good try though and had a nice turnout.  Even Kate Moennig and Clea Duvall were camped out at a table with friends inside.  Although advertised as the only girl event that night, Shannon K. launched a new Sizzling Saturday party at Club Seven.  Lord knows we need a constant Saturday function, rather than the sporadic soirées once or twice a month.  Sunday, Santa Monica Blvd. was completely shut down to host the parade.  Filled with scantily clad men and women, who sparkled more than the lights in Vegas, there were tons of colorful floats pumping loud dance music and rowdy marching groups chanting approving cheers for all things gay.  I feel like there were less people garnishing the streets as in previous years, but nevertheless it was a jovial and fun crowd.  The whose-who of lesbians migrated to the Normandy Room afterwards.  When the ruckus simmered down over there, the girls moved the party to the Abbey, which is a Pride tradition.    I only checked out the actual Pride festival on Sunday night when Olivia Newton-John was the headliner.  As one could image it was filled with booths giving away hordes of free merchandise including flavored lube, key chains and more.  Don’t forget the wide selection of fair foods one can ingest at such an event.  I partook in some chicken on a stick, an egg roll and of course funnel cake.  Olivia rocked, but remember that is coming from a huge fan, I am a bit bias.  I got there a little early and was able to see Kimberly Locke perform as well.  Saturday night’s main attraction was Joss Stone, who I’m sure, was just as pleasing. It was a great weekend all around.  Pride is definitely something to look forward to every year.  Now it is time to detox and take a breather.  Who am I kidding?  I'll be back in the regularly scheduled action tomorrow.
The Girls of Los Angeles
Los Angeles by far has the biggest selection of women. Lipsticks, dykes, bois, girls-next-door, you name it. Already a highly fashionable town, it is actually quite hard to distinguish a lesbian in a non-gay setting. Everyone, gay and straight, dress indifferent from their sexual preference. Only those who don stereotypical lesbian attire as seen on television or in magazines will be classified by sight. Otherwise every girl is up for questioning. Of course there are tons of “Shane” look-alikes, but as diverse as Los Angeles is, that appearance has to be elected a trend and not a lifestyle. Within the lesbian surroundings you can recognize the cliques that make up the scene. The Shane-esque girls enjoy the eastside, Silverlake, Echo Park areas and tend to encase themselves with girls akin to their personalities. There are a few who do associate with the elitist groups, also known here in Los Angeles as the lipstick lesbians. Don’t count your chickens though, a small percentage of these girls are bisexual, not completely on our team. The glamour girls could fit just as well in a swanky Hollywood jet setting nightclub or at Truckstop. You will also find hipsters at the ultra-hip, under the radar, lesbian parties. These girls can throw anything on and be as fashionable as if in a run-way show with the newest and hottest looks. There is also a fraction of lesbians that fall in between the cracks of distinction. You can’t classify them as dykes, you can’t classify them as lipsticks, but they contribute to the collective as a whole. These girls take care of their appearance, although don’t dress to the nines, nor do they acquire a choppy haircut. These are the girls who are comfortable wearing converse when painting the town red. Comparison to “The L Word” crew, you may say Alice or Dana could be adequately equated in this category. Yet Alice has had some weird changes in her appearance lately, more swaying to the higher fashion, lipstick end. It is not however the city that makes a lesbian nation. Everyone can subsist in and have their very own “L Word” existence, right in your very own assembly of friends. The drama will be identical, the hook-ups will be identical and the lust for love, passion and friendship will be identical. You can discover these facets anywhere you live. Los Angeles only provides a backdrop with more opportunities and more women who are proud and free with themselves and with their sexualities.
KIN give surprise free show at HK Lounge
  Picture the scene: HK Lounge, Wednesday night, wall-to-wall Chelsea gay boys.   The usual.   Now, add Lesbian rap duo KIN to the party and suddenly the situation is just a little more fresh, right? The surprise free show on May 14th at the Manhattan bar was a deliciously odd mix of performer and audience but KIN was definitely able to pull it off. Members Nor and IQ, hailing from Mt. Vernon, NY, have been performing as KIN for over 7 years with significant play over seas and in Canada. Used to the challenge of the US major labels, KIN stepped it up for the tricky HK Lounge crowd, providing a breathable break from the house music that had been playing all night. Dominating the makeshift staircase stage, Nor and IQ worked the audience with songs from their new EP, Rock Star and after two songs, the Chelsea boys weren’t exactly nodding on beat but at least they were smiling.   Learn more about KIN at www.myspace.com/ KIN4life or www.kin4life.com
Gay St. and Gay bashing Baltimore, MD
Who knew that there’s a Gay street in Baltimore? I was so excited about this bizarre urban planning decision that I risked life and limb to capture an image of the sign from a speeding vehicle – twice. I wish SF had a Gay St. But I’ll just have to relish in the delight that our whole city is like really really gay. Baltimore...I'm not so convinced. Baltimore, Maryland (known affectionately as B’more or Bodymore, Murdaland depending in who you ask) was only known to me through my parents for its harbor side crab shacks. DJs have made it famous for its club gutter music and recent Showtime execs have shed light on some of the city’s darker goings-on (the Wire). We were there for Aaron LaCrate, a New York based music producer, DJ, record label owner and clothier who gave us the rock-star guide to his beloved hometown. Aaron’s tour was deeply personal and at moments equally heartbreaking and heart warming. The Baltimore he showed us was full of life and hope but also abandonment and desperation. Once in a while in San Francisco I get a bad feeling about a particular block where I know the bored kids hang out, or a deserted street late at night and I just walk home a different route. I forget that there are places where people like me have a lot more to fear. I was gay bashed in the parking lot of Wendy’s. In the middle of the day, next to the Home Depot in a suburb 10 minutes out of the city. We were walking to our car and this dude pulls into the parking lot in a beat up sedan and stares at me with this evil, maniacal grin. I already felt him gay bashing inside his head. So one minute later I wasn’t surprised when I heard him call me like a dog from his car, "hey, homoooo. My girlfriend needs ....." I ran into my car and said, "Lock the doors, I just got gay bashed, lets get out of here!" I was scared and felt gross. Living in mostly liberal areas of California for the last 10 years, I forget how difficult the rest of the world can be. I want to take a moment for all the queers that have suffered and survived gay bashing and hate violence. I would like to give Baltimore another try; I’m sure there’s a rich queer culture there with in it’s already interesting history. I mean, there’s a Gay St! (and for the record, I was only there for 2 days and saw 2 people who passed as queerdos) It is the home of quirky queer filmmaker John Waters, after all. Any Baltimore queers out there reading blogs and have some positive or not so positive shout outs for Baltimore? Leave a message. Check out this Lily Allen remix by Aaron Lacrate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5b-nz96foQ For more Hot Situations visit www.shaevoyeur.com.
The Judgement of Paris is Decadent and Dark
  In an art world saturated with Post-Modernism and memoir, the beautiful depiction of a classic story is a refreshing departure.   Performed on the scaffolding-lined stage beyond the glass façade of the theater at 303 Bond Street, The Judgement of Paris weaves the ancient tale of Helen of Troy into a darkly decadent setting of “French Can-Can girls, Greek tragedy, golden apples, baroque pageantry, courtesans, goddesses, circus freaks, blonde bombshells, [and] Spartan warriors.” Choreographed and directed by Company XIV’s founder, Austin McCormick, The Judgement of Paris is a stunning piece of theater that presents a distinctly modern take on traditional Baroque movement. It is more than just a dance performance or a ballet. The six performers of The Judgement of Paris are completely captivating as they depict, through music, lighting, dance and monologue, the rise and fall of the love affair of Prince Paris of Sparta and the married Helen of Troy. Over the course of 90 minutes, the audience is lulled and shocked and made uneasy as the six on stage slowly unravel the fates of our Paris and our Helen.   According to their mission statement, Company XIV is a Brooklyn-based mixed media dance/theater company that seeks to present "unique historical and cultural dance perspectives through the exploration various artistic partnerships." This all results in a successful hashing together of gorgeous frivolity and heavy themes.   Though The Judgement of Paris will be closing at the end of May, the company has several projects in progress. The Judgement of Paris is playing Friday, 5/23, Saturday 5/24, Friday 5/30, and Saturday 5/31 at 8pm at 303 Bond St in Brooklyn. Each performance is $20 for adults, $15 for students.   For more information, check out www.companyxiv.com    
Standing Clear: A comedy about the distance we put between us on the subway
The average New Yorker spends more time per week on the subway than they do eating. It’s a space where, for even just a few minutes, folks of all walks of life are physically pushed into each other and forced to at least be aware of one another.   Presented by Coffee Cup Theatre Co., Standing Clear superbly demonstrates the Subway as a venue for these interactions. Plenty of the familiar specimens are displayed: an overly amorous sleezeball, a slightly older woman with advice for anybody who’ll listen, a bickering couple, a curious homeless person, two ex-lovers who uncomfortably run into each other in the same car. What do you do when you get a whole car to yourself? How does the music on your iPod change your Subway ride? What is the name of that completely gorgeous girl you keep seeing on your ride home from work?   Written by Ishah Janssen-Faith and Jack McGowan, Standing Clear takes an overall humorous approach to the community space that is the Subway. Performers Melinda Ferraraccio, Becca Hackett, Ishah Janssen-Faith, Jack McGowan and Ben Holbrook each take on multiple characters, creating scene after familiar scene of a place we’ve all spent time in. The humorous approach sometimes blends into a place that is almost too familiar- that personal phone call you find yourself having among strangers, that crying jag that hits you suddenly on the F train after an argument, the discomfort of watching one passenger dish out overly harsh words to another. Standing Clear brings all of these situations out in the open, even addressing the fact that we are often only affected by these while still on the train. How do we forget so quickly that completely engrossing stranger once we’ve passed back out through those sliding doors?   Life on the Subway is nothing if not all about the details and Standing Clear pays attention.    Check out Standing Clear at the Access Theater at 380 Broadway, Thursdays through Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 3pm and 7pm and Monday 6/16 at 7pm. Tickets are $20 and the show closes on June 21st. www.coffeecuptheatre.org for more info.
Going on Gaycation in Portland, Oregon
Running around Portland with Nathan/Brace of the band Gossip was as much fun as one of those all day party trolleys (a San Fransisco special treat) filled with radical people and rock stars. Unfortunately Beth couldn't make the Ringside for dinner; she had gone down South to visit her family. In her honor, we partied "Gaycation" style anyways. Speaking of family, we ran into Chelsea Starr who came up from SF to Portland to visit her sister. While there she guest DJed at the hot homo club Gaycation thrown by DJ Snowtiger. I have to say, I really appreciate all the girls and their Portland fashion. Although, I think the heat wave had something to do with all the cute shorts. The space, Holoscene, is a huge where house with high ceilings that sprawls over two rooms. So, if don't feel like rubbing up on folks, you can step into the other room and have your own dance circle. The next morning was a Southern treat at a breakfast cafe named the Screen Door, Aubrey's(DJ Snowtiger) favorite Sunday eatery. We found out a few things from Aubrey, but most importantly if you want to go to a river in Portland for some sun and a cool dip and you don't want to get hit on and harassed by the duderama, then head to Sauvies. It's the river spot full of gay naked pretty people. Check out my blog www.shaevoyeur.com for more Hot Situations
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Dinah Shore 2008 Photo Album!
Keeping checking back for more from GO Mag's trip to Dinah Shore '08!
Rockstar Guide to the Galaxy with Brace Paine of Gossip - Portland, Oregon
“Get it while it’s hot.” And hot it was. Kickin it in Portland with Gossip during the west coast heat wave. We were in town to film the next episode of Rhapsody's Rockstar Guide to the Galaxy with Brace Paine. (you can check out the first episode with CSS here: CSS Rockstar Guide to the Galaxy) . Portland with Brace of Gossip, originally uploaded by shaevoyuer. We flew in late Thursday night and parked ourselves at the hip downtown Jupiter motel where we relaxed from our travels around and outdoor fire with a late night cocktail. In the morning we met Nathan (Brace Paine) at the first stop on his rock-star list: Voodoo Doughnuts. This doughnut shop is known as much for its peanut butter glazed thingmadoo craziness as it is for the Swahili lessons they host. About the time Nathan was describing the contest where men compete to see who’s package can hold the most doughnuts, I realized how cute and photogenic he is. The rest of the day felt like taking magazine photos of him against colorful Portland backdrops. Our next stop was a jog through Powell's books (it's very large!) where he took us to his favorite sections including Zines and an aisle with dream-analysis books. You’ll have to wait for the video to hear what’s been on his subconscious mind. After that, we headed to Local 35, a designer clothing store, and the huge maze of vintage amazingness – House. In the evening we arrived at the Ringside Steak house for some red wine, bow tied servers, and fanciness (Although Nathan is quick to share that the reason this is one of his favorite Portland eateries is the meal deal you get before 5:45pm and after 9:00pm - "It's the only place in Portland to get quality food late night.") Last but not least, we met him at his club night Situations at Dunes. This party is obviously a go-to spot because not only did the The Kills guest DJ late night, but I ran into a friend visiting from Seattle 3 hours away that I hadn't seen in over a year! Check out my blog www.shaevoyeur.com for more hot situations.. Shaevoyuer is developing a queer/lesbian web TV travel show that highlights local community and artists. The web series will undercover queer women and tran’s cultures around the globe. She has a background in social change documentary film making and web TV. She is also interested in the relationship between queer/lesbian identity and location.
Film: Vier Minuten (Four Minutes)
From the moment I began to watch, Vier Minuten had me by the wrists. This German film is the story of Traude Krüger (Monica Bleibtreu), a resigned and bitter older woman teaching piano at a women's prison, and her most unlikely star student, 20-year-old Jenny von Loeben (Hannah Herzsprung), a convicted killer with a history of familial abuse. Ms. Krüger notices Jenny playing an imaginary piano on a church pew during a hymn she herself is playing on the organ, and soon discovers that this gritty, violent young woman has an extraordinary gift. The film traces the evolution of their relationship as student and teacher, which is often fraught with Jenny's numerous personal demons, as well as Ms. Krüger's excruciating past. Though it would have put the audience at ease, the film never allows you to feel comfortable during any interaction between the two, which is perhaps one of its greatest strengths. Jenny nervously picks the skin of her precious hands to shreds and lashes out as the other prisoners show their hatred for her special treatment, while Ms. Krüger's fragile world, consisting almost entirely of her love for music, is continually threatened by the volatile prison environment. Though Vier Minuten takes place in the present day, the only interiors we see are that of the prison, Ms. Krüger's cramped, antiquated apartment, and Nazi prison dungeons in flashbacks, which depict her as a young nurse during World War II. Early on, we discover that the crushing horror of war has cost her the one woman she loved, forcing her to fill the void with an obsessive adherence to the art of classical music for the rest of her life. Jenny often reflects the hope Ms. Kruger once had for herself, though the mirror she is supposed to represent is often shattered and splattered with blood, due to her fits of anger. We are only given fleeting moments of peace, which take place at the piano, when true understanding flows between the two women. The visual differences between the two create some of the most arresting shots in the film: Jenny, snarling yet beautifully damaged, with shaggy hair falling over one eye, and Ms. Krüger, a drawn, tight-laced teacher with her hair pulled back in a severe bun. The score, of course, is heavily present in this film, relying heavily on the Schumann piece Ms. Krüger selects for the contest Jenny is to win. There is also a constant musical battle between the two, as Jenny fights to play her crashing, rhythmic modern music ("Negro music," as her teacher calls it), and Ms. Krüger insists she learn only "real" music; the refined classics. At times, it is difficult to tell whether the film's music is being included for atmosphere or if it is actually taking place, and more often than not, it is serving as both. Vier Minuten is painful and merciless, but exquisite in its storytelling and brutal honesty. American films dealing with similar themes tend to, in my experience, provide relief for their audiences by allowing "bad" characters to show off their redeeming qualities, or by resolving one small issue or another. We are not given that courtesy with this film until the very end, rendering its conclusion more powerful than anything I've seen as of late. Both Bleibtreu and Herzsprung deliver raw, unrelenting performances, largely outshining the supporting cast in their respective levels of commitment. German filmmaker Chris Kraus' Vier Minuten has won 15 international awards, including a German Oscar and audience awards from the 2007 Hamptons International Film Festival and the 2007 Frameline: San Francisco LGBT Film Festival. The film has just finished a week-long run at the Cinema Village, and will open in Los Angeles on April 25 at the Laemmle Music Hall.
Portishead's new album, 4/29/08
  Portishead’s new album is the soundtrack for danger.     Think back to 1997 for a second. Alanis Morrisette is on her Jagged Little Pill world tour. Tony Blair has just been appointed prime minister of the United Kingdom. Linda Tripp hits the record button for the first time. Harry Potter is a brand new book series for children.   This is the setting in which we last received a new Portishead album.   1997’s Portishead was even released after a three year break from their first album, 1994’s Dummy.  Portishead does not rush things nor do they necessarily feel the need to reinvent themselves.  Their first release, 1994’s Dummy is electronic without being techno- it’s slow and sexy with one coy voice singing dirt over drum machine beats. Their follow up, 1997’s Portishead, presented a much more eclectic sound, lower-fi, slower tempo, edging into a Bjork/Lovage sound but still with that familiar nasal purr.   Now, more than 10 years later, Portishead is releasing their latest album in to a world that doesn’t even buy albums. CDs are becoming obsolete and the majority of the teenage market has never even heard of Portishead. This, however, is not catered to by their newest album, Third. Instead of forcing the now expected American Idol/Ashley Simpson cleanliness into the album, Portishead has taken Third in somewhat of a retro direction. Still utilizing the lone, yearning voice of Beth Gibbons, Third takes the playful electronic sound that was all over their second album and turns it up even further. Gibbons’ voice is still slow and sexy but now plays a balance with the numerous record samples. Liberal use of 70s style adventurous beats allows the album to take the same overall sound but inflect the music with a new purpose. Dummy was the album to get laid by and Portishead was the album to get stoned by. Third is the soundtrack for adventure, cigarette smoking, fast walking through the night.   This is the setting in which we now receive a new Portishead album. Finally.   Portishead’s Third will be release in the States on April 29th, 2008 and is being released on Island Records.
A Conversation with Nekisa Cooper, producer of Pariah
QFR caught up with "Pariah" producer, Nekisa Cooper. Now at work, on making a feature of the popular short, she was able to sit down and answer some of our questions! Her film, Pariah, recently went to the Sundance Film Festival. It is available to watch on the iTunes stores. QueerFilmReview.com: In Pariah, what character did you identify with the most, and what compelled you about him or her? Nekisa Cooper: In PARIAH, the character I identify with the most is the lead character Alike. I, like her, have felt like a chameleon that never quite fit in anywhere, especially right after I discovered I liked women. Once I accepted myself, which took me over 6 years, I felt compelled to figure out how to express myself and had some really funny and sad times coming to a space where I felt OK in my own skin. QFR: What was it about Pariah, as well as Dee Rees, that encouraged you to take that leap to produce the film? NC: I didn’t need any encouragement to produce PARIAH or to work with Dee Rees. I had the pleasure of producing another one of Dee’s shorts titled ORANGE BOW, which chronicled the journey of a 16 year old black teenager juggling multiple obstacles on his way to a party. I don’t want to give away the story, but that film had a social consciousness bent to it and she was so innovative in the way she told the story that I knew I wanted to continue to work with her on whatever projects she had. Also, because the story of PARIAH was very similar to my own, it was really an honor that Dee wanted me to produce for her. QFR: How did you address some of the production problems? NC: First, I wouldn’t call them “production problems,” I’d call them “production challenges.”  We faced the same challenges that most filmmakers face—financing and gathering dedicated crew for little money. I met those challenges head on with creative resourcefulness and a lot of planning—preproduction for the short was almost 6 months. When you have a small amount of money, you have to plan way ahead so that when you’re on set, the only challenges you are dealing with are the production specific ones, not getting the right people and equipment at the right place at the right time. QFR: Pariah just opened a new space/// even if it’s just within myself. What other films/ works do you think allowed this film to be done? NC: If you asked Dee that question, she would say her main influences were the literary works of Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, etc. For me, whether it is a literary work or a Spike Lee film, any piece of media that gave voice to the voiceless served as an inspiration for us to tell this story. Our mission as a production company is to use the pop culture medium of film to serve the marginalized and misrepresented because we believe it has the power to make people aware and perhaps even change hearts and minds—even if it is just one heart and one mind—it’s absolutely worth it. QFR: What was the location of the film? Dee Rees is from Tennessee, where are you from? And how do you think your geography influenced the film? NC: PARIAH was shot in multiple locations in NYC. The main setting was the South Bronx, but we also shot in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Yes, Dee is from Tennessee and I’m actually a “military brat,” my father was in the Army and throughout my childhood I basically moved every 2-3 years. I’ve lived all over the southeastern US and also in Germany for 6 years. QFR: Where'd the title come from? What does it mean to you? NC: The title for the film was another sign of Dee’s brilliance. In one word it sums up the essence of the main character. She is a person who feels alienated even in places where she should be comfortable—at home, with her best friend at a club… The title and that sentiment—a pariah— really informed all of the aesthetic choices you see in the film, from the tight interior spaces to the spatial arrangement of the elements in a scene. QFR: Can you speak more on Brad Young, director of photography? Where can we find more of his work/ his background? What do you think it is that makes the three of you work together so well? NC: Brad Young, the director of photography for PARIAH is like a brother to Dee and I. He is an exceptionally talented artist who not only works well with moving images, but is also an incredible still photographer. He went to Howard for his MFA in film and he has shot numerous commercials, music videos, You can check out more of his work on his website— www.bradfordyoung.com. Brad, Dee and I work so well together because we truly look at each other as family and we’re all determined to sacrifice as needed to tell our stories. He is an incredibly collaborative partner that makes Dee and I better at what we do and I feel so blessed to have him on our team. QFR: Adepero Oduye. How did you find her? Why did you choose her? NC: You may not believe this, but we found Adepero Oduye, who plays the lead character in the film, on the first day of auditions at NYU. She is a rising star in the NY scene having done LAW & ORDER, ON THE OUTS, and a small part in HALF NELSON. She is represented, but actually saw our casting breakdown online and submitted herself to audition. We loved her look instantly as we were perusing headshots and we were blown away by her audition. Dee knew right away that she was “the one,” but my producer’s instinct wanted her to see more people. Honestly, though, when her audition was over and she left the room, I rushed to the bathroom and didn’t expect to find her in there, but she was there changing from the more masculine clothes she had worn to the audition into much more feminine garb and I almost cried right there in the bathroom. Just from reading the casting breakdown, she had the foresight and intuition to prepare in such a way that she was Alike on the first day of auditions… I’m sure she thought I was crazy, but at that moment I knew she was “the one,” too. QFR: When did you know you were going to become a filmmaker? NC: Filmmaking is actually my third career. I know today that everything I have done in the past has led me to producing film, but if you’d asked me 4 years ago what I’d be doing today, I definitely wouldn’t have said producing. It would’ve been more along the lines of Marketing Director for Colgate Palmolive in Australia or something. Right after I graduated with my BA, I went and coached college basketball and then I thought that I would go back to school to get an MBA so that I could work in athletics administration and I got the “brand management” bug. I interned at SC Johnson on a Glade product and was hooked on the idea that through these consumer products I could learn how to run a business so I pursued brand management and wound up, for my second career, working at companies Colgate Palmolive, L’Oreal, and General Electric on everything from kids toothbrushes to credit cards. Although the money was great and the learning was incredible, I didn’t feel fulfilled and it wasn’t until I found Dee and film that I was able to marry my skills with my passion and I’m never letting go. --reviewed by jade foster For more information, browse: Pariah
The Los Angeles Lesbian Scene
A quick introduction of myself, I am known as The Godfather. Close to a year ago, I created a Los Angeles based blog called Boxed Lunch: LA Lesbian Scene which focuses on the lesbian scene here in Los Angeles. I usually post daily blogs promoting what is happening around town that girls can attend. I also write and discuss topics that range from guidance for new lesbians, local gossip, nightlife, girl erotica, lesbian stereotypes and more. My main objective is to educate those newbies or experienced lesbians who just don't know, about places to go, things to do in order to meet others, all in hopes of connecting our small community. I also encourage fellow lesbians who may want to showcase their own stories, art, parties, music, whatever, to submit their works for publication. When I came out three years ago I had no idea where to begin. Los Angeles lacked what someone like me needed to get started on their lesbianic voyage. That is where Boxed Lunch comes in. If I can make a difference, assist at least one girl emerge and become happier with themselves, then I know I have done good. GO Magazine has since contacted me and would like me to spread the word of all things lesbian in Los Angeles across the country to New York. They didn't have to twist my arm very hard. I jumped at this amazing opportunity. So now when you east coasters come to visit the west coast, you will be on the up-and-up with what to do, where to go and what it's like. This is my solemn vow. I'm here to service the lesbian world coast to coast. Next blog: LA's weekly nightlife calendar.
Carla Cantrelle's Looking Up
 How many times have we learned the lesson, lived the lesson, ignored the lesson of love? That lesson being, of course, that absolute, unflinching commitment is essential to success. No matter how many movies have fed this to us, we still find ourselves drawn in to one storyline after another that pretty much preaches that same line. Carla Cantrelle’s Looking Up, playing at Theater for the New City through March 2nd, follows this over trodden path with very little deviation. The show itself is visually entertaining, however, offering up impressive trapeze work by Cantrelle, the show’s playwright and leading lady. With just two people on stage for the duration of the show, the dialogue between Cantrelle’s Wendy and Bryant Mason’s Jack gets tiring quickly. Streams of metaphors about trust, nets, compassion, giving up, acceptance of one’s flaws, aging, and looking in the right direction, fill most of the monologues and conversations. And that omnipresent commitment lesson about love? This play doesn’t subtly nudge the audience with it. Rather, the lesson is awkwardly shoved forward repeatedly though the framework of Jack’s fears and frustrations and Wendy’s trapeze metaphors. If you can stand the tiring story line, however, Cantrelle’s trapeze work is captivating. My advice? Skip the show and head to The Zipper Factory on Sundays for Cantrelle’s trapeze shows with Above The Belt.
New band, new EP, old friend. Bitch plays Bowery.
  A surprisingly satisfying musical combination came together this past Saturday night at The Bowery Ballroom. Having just seen Shortbus, I was curious to see how the pretty-faced Jay Brannan and the appropriately righteous Bitch would make music together. His personality seemed too giggly, her fan base too dykey for this match to find harmony or even a pleasant dissonance. It had been almost one year exactly since I had seen Bitch perform solo at a tiny show in Massachusetts and I had yet to hear the reorganized, Daniela Sea free Bitch and the Exciting Conlcusion, now operating as B+tec.   Of course, the constant skeptic is constantly being pleasantly surprised.   Not only did the new B+tec formation of Gabriel Kubitz on Bass and Lee Frisari on drums completely pump the house with a harder edge than before, the music also blended seamlessly into Jay’s headlining set. While Jay’s songs focused on broken hearts, young love and acoustic drum stylings, B+tec’s hard rock violin and banjo pulsed songs of politics, mature love aches, and, of course, sex. Despite a new band, tons of new songs, projects, and an even more emphatic political point she’s still the same old Bitch after all. And that’s why we love her.    Be sure to check out bitchmusic.com and myspace.com/bitchmusic to keep abreast of when you can order her new EP that just dropped on the 15th  of February.
TOSHI REAGON: The First Line of the Revolution
Igniting the television show The L Word with her blues performance, Toshi Reagon reminds the viewer that great media require collaboration. As Reagon fuses her unique sound, Black, Bold, and Queer, with The L Word’s cast and crew she demonstrates musical and gender complexities with enduring charisma. Reagon started performing when she was seventeen, nurtured musically by her mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon, the founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Despite her mother’s influence, Toshi Reagon transcends the biological connection between Toshi Reagon’s band, Big Lovely, and her mother’s group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Big Lovely is utterly Toshi. Recently, Reagon has teamed up with Righteous Babe Records. To listen to more Toshi, click here. However, for emerging Queer artists, Toshi Reagon gives a shout out to the Black Lily Film and Music Festival . When the Queer Film Review asked Toshi about her interest in films she responded, “Absolutely. I thought I would go to film school – I love visual media and I always see movies with my songs.”As a self-proclaimed sucker for romance, Toshi described her love of the film When Night is Falling (Dir. Patricia Rozema). But Toshi is far more than sentimental. Her favorite books include Kindred by Octavia Butler. As Toshi continues to look for fresh perspectives in the arts, television like Stephen Spielberg’s The Show bore her senseless. Toshi’s disappointment only fuels her to toss potential film ideas around with her love, J. Bob Alotta, a Queer media maker. A few ideas Toshi shared with us were a film about Thomas Dorsey, a pioneering gospel composer, a documentary on Black teachers in rural communities during segregation in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and a good film adaptation of an Octavia Butler book. Toshi’s appearance on the The L Word was a true cameo; her talent, panache, intelligence, and bold pioneering shined through her performance. Toshi sings and plays guitar at a going away party for Tasha, a tough lesbian solider who is about to go fight a war in Iraq. Toshi’s music and the show’s perspective do not shy away from the difficult situations that face woman who are Black and who are Queer. And for this reason, the union of Toshi Reagon and The L Word is sublime. – reviewed by T Nova Check out the Interview: QueerFilmReview.com: How did you get started as a musician? TOSHI REAGON: I started being interested in music as a small child around 3- but did not point to it as a profession until I was around 14 I really started working on it when I was 17 that is when I did my first shows. QueerFilmReview.com: How has being related to Sweet Honey in the Rock influenced you? TOSHI REAGON: I get asked this a lot and really I was influenced by so many people - Sweet Honey has had over 20 women in the group so I think I was really instructed by their business model- this idea of continuation and making paths where there were none before them. My mothers style of building songs is present in my work even though I almost always work with instrumentation that includes the human voice and she primarily uses the human voice. I have taken a little something from most of the long time members of the group and have enjoyed working with them especially when I have produced a record for them. QueerFilmReview.com: Would you consider a documentary film at some point? TOSHI REAGON: Absolutely. I thought I would go to film school- I love visual media and I always see movies with my songs. My Partner J Bob Alotta is a film maker and I make her crazy with my ideas. documentaries really interest me. QueerFilmReview.com:: Tell us about the first gig you had TOSHI REAGON: My mom told me to learn to be a concert producer so that i would noy have to depend on others for gigs- so i produced my first sho at my high school- it was fun. QueerFilmReview.com: What are your musical influences? TOSHI REAGON: everything QueerFilmReview.com: How did you come to be involved with Righteous Babe Records? TOSHI REAGON: i love ani QUEER FILM REVIEW: What do you think is the biggest problem facing Black, Queer artists today? TOSHI REAGON: jeez- what is the biggest problem facing humans and the planet- we as humans are just ass backwards about what is important for the continuation of life on this planet. Black Queer Artist in American are desendents of African people who were kidnapped and brought her as slaves to build the foundation of our country and I mean every foundation- including our economical foundation that threatens to destroy all. We still have an idea that one small entity should have power over the masses. The idea to find out what you need and then charge you for it or make you build it but not own it or both is crazy. But it is the excepted backbone of the American life. When you come over as a slave and all that you do and are is owned by someone else include in that your creative voice. 400 to 500 years later your decedents will still struggle to have have their voice be heard and to own the intellectual property that is their voice and creative work. I mean their films, and recordings and poems, and books etc… So you are Black and you are Queer- you are the first line of the revolution. I see the struggles - I understand the history and I also expect that Black Queer Artist will do their jobs and take their place and not be deterred by any of it. It is why we are here. QueerFilmReview.com: Do you have any favorite Queer films? TOSHI REAGON: wow- i may need to think on that- i am a sucker for romance- i have seen when night is falling a million times tongues untied was really important when i was young- i remember seeing it screened in all kinds of places- QueerFilmReview.com: How was it for you to come out in the Black community? TOSHI REAGON: I am here I am not sure what you are asking. QueerFilmReview.com: What are your future goals? TOSHI REAGON: To continue to be a good parent artist and member of my community QueerFilmReview.com: What was it like to score a piece like that? How does that compare to your work on the L Word? TOSHI REAGON: I did a wonderful adventure on the L Word- My great friend elizabeth Ziff is the musical supervisor and she already new what song she wanted me to sing- So we worked together to do 3 versions of the song- I was on the set for a day in Vancouver and 2 days in Malibu- it was great. Africans in America was a 3 year project. My mom was the composer and I was her primary musician. She would sometimes come into the studio and put me across from her and point at me to sing what she was singing as soon as i got the line she would move on to something else- I play every instrument I know how to play on that score and some I don’t know how to play. Sweet Honey is on the score but a lot of the songs people assumed where Sweet Honey were mom and I. It was a really important part of my musical life. QueerFilmReview.com: At this point in your career, what do you consider to be your most satisfying accomplishment? TOSHI REAGON: too many to chose one- I am Blessed for sure. QueerFilmReview.com: How did you come to be featured on the L Word and can you tell us a bit about your experience? TOSHI REAGON: see above- it was so much fun and everyone was so nice- had a great time with Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier and Mia Kirshner. QueerFilmReview.com: As a working musician today, how do you manage to note be overwhelmed? TOSHI REAGON: I am often overwhelmed- it is ok- i move through it. QueerFilmReview.com: Any favorite L Word moments? TOSHI REAGON: watching it with friends when it came on- I had no idea what was going to be on TV and hear the feed back- I went to New Orleans the week after it was on and a group of Black Women were really mad that I was not more featured and that I did not sing a whole song and that I did not have more dialogue - it was funny I was surprised I was on as much as was. It was great fun QueerFilmReview.com: Do you have any predications for Season 5? TOSHI REAGON: None- QueerFilmReview.com: Is there any story you would love to see on screen? TOSHI REAGON: My friend Lisa Bonet once told me she was interested in developing a movie about Angela Davis. That would be cool if it was done well. I would love to see movies as a whole be more progressive and diverse- even the Indie movie scene is so white and male- I think if we can keep making room for all kinds of folks many stories can be told. It just seems like to small a group of folks are dominating the music biz at every level I just watched the Stephen Spielberg show the lot- i mean how many cute while guy s between the ages of 22 and 35 do we need to hear from ( smile) Ok that might not be nice- we just need to keep making room for diverse voices. I would love to see a movie on Thomas Dorsey a pioneering Gospel composer. I would love to see a documentary on Black teachers in rural communities during segregation in the 40’s and 50. I would love to see any of Octavia Butler’s books made into GOOD films- don’t bother if you are going to mess it up. Kindred would be amazing. QueerFilmReview.com: What advice do you have for emerging Queer artist? TOSHI REAGON: Keep Working. I like to give a shout out to the Black Lily Film and Music Festival- check them out they did a great festival you should interview them if you have not already.
A Conversation with Cynthia Wade, Oscar Nominated filmmaker
QueerFilmReview.com interviews Cynthia Wade; the Oscar nominated director of FREEHELD, a documentary short which examines New Jersey Police Lieutenant Laurel Hester’s pioneering legal battle to shift her pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree, following Ms. Andree’s diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. In documenting this landmark case, Wade makes real the ways in which our current domestic partnership policies deny Americans basic rights based on their sexual orientation. Wade movingly reveals the tragic consequences that occur when a system fails to equally serve all of its citizens. At the core of this film lies a struggle that would not have existed had Ms. Hester and Ms. Andree been a married heterosexual couple. QFR was curious about Ms. Wade’s relationship to the film, as well as her experiences working in an industry that is largely male-dominated, and at times discriminative. Unfortunately, Ms. Wade was unable to answer a majority of the questions we posed, but here is our interview: QueerFilmReview.com: How did you first get involved in the story of Freeheld? Cynthia Wade: I did not set out to make a film about Laurel Hester. It was late 2005, and I had recently given birth to my second child and was busy with other film projects. But I read an article about Laurel in a local paper, and when I read that her partner Stacie, an auto mechanic, was poised to lose their house, I immediately understood the great risk they faced. I brought my camera to a community meeting where Laurel planned to speak to her county officials, the Freeholders. As soon as the meeting started, I knew instantly that this was going to be my next film. The meeting was very dramatic; the air was thick with tension. It’s actually the first scene in the film. Community members were passionately begging their elected officials to allow Laurel to keep the pension she had earned over the course of 25 years of service. The county officials, called Freeholders, said no. If Laurel had been married to a man, there would have been no issue. I couldn’t believe that in New Jersey - just a stone’s throw away from New York City - this kind of overt discrimination was taking place. Afterward, I went up to Laurel and Stacie and introduced myself and asked if I could tell their story. Laurel said yes. She had always wanted to write a book, and realized she was running out of time and wouldn’t be able to write the book, so she hoped that the film would take place of the book. Later, I drove back to New York City, where I live, and told my husband what I had seen. I said, “I have to go back to New Jersey and make this film.” This posed a challenge: we had a 4-month-old infant, a 5-year-old kindergartener, I was running a busy documentary film business, and my husband works full-time in another industry. But after I explained what was at stake — for Laurel and for other same-sex couples — he took a deep breath and said, “Okay. Let’s work it out.” This became a family project; we were all invested. QFR: What were some of the key elements in making the film such a success? CW: First and foremost, I had to garner the support and trust of Laurel and Stacie. A film like this can only work if the filmmaker earns total trust from her subjects. Laurel and Stacie trusted me completely, and that was a big responsibility. Laurel and Stacie gave me access to their lives in an extremely vulnerable and emotional time. I did not want to hurt them in any way. We all felt that the film was important, and that it could be used as a tool for social change, but we were dealing with real life too. Respecting them was extremely important to me. I was constantly asking myself, “Should I shoot this? Should I put down the camera? Is this too much?” As Laurel got sicker, I put down the camera a lot. There were things that I didn’t film because it felt too invasive I gave Laurel and Stacie a camera so that they could film when I was not there; some of the best material came from them. The film was collaboration between the three of us. There were logistical challenges – the more time I spent in New Jersey, the less time I spent with my two young children in New York. I didn’t always feel completely comfortable with this, but I was rapidly losing Laurel so I needed to be in New Jersey as much as possible. My husband was holding down a demanding full-time job and taking care of our children at night (our infant was not yet sleeping through the night). Between our family members and a babysitter, we covered the childcare. And there were also financial challenges — when we got accepted to Sundance last year, I didn’t even know how I would get the money to buy a plane ticket to get to the festival. My editor, David Teague, trusted me, and even though I owed him $30,000, he said, “Let’s just finish the film. You’ll figure out a way to pay me later.” Sure enough, it happened, and at our first Sundance screening, I met a funder, and things just kind of took off from there. Fortunately, there are a lot of people who care deeply about this issue, and feel that the film is a crucial component to spreading the message of equal rights. I could not have done this without all of the supporters that came on. It just goes to show important it is to take risks in life, like that old saying "Leap and the net will appear." QFR: Do you feel inclined to choose subject matter to which you are emotionally involved in? If so, in what ways does this enhance and/or hinder your films? CW: I always have a deep emotional involvement in my films. I find that the film finds me most of the time, and sort of creeps up out of nowhere. To me, it is like a vine, where it starts curling around my arms and then curls up to my neck and starts squeezing me in my throat. It is like its own thing; it’s a creature that just starts saying, “Make me! Make me! Make me!” until I can’t breathe and am saying, “Okay! Okay! Okay!” and the writing is on the wall and I have to make the film. I find often that the films find me. I think this enhances my filmmaking, but it can hinder my life, as I get so deeply entrenched in the film that it is hard sometimes to come up for air in my real life! – Reviewed by Jess Paps For more information: Freeheld.com QueerFilmReview.com
A good cup of coffee
We know the rules. Friday night is for happy hour, Saturday night is for dancing, Sunday night is L-word night and Monday through Thursday night are good-girl, order-Chinese-delivery, play-with-your-lonely-cats, be-in-bed-by-11pm nights.   When we break the weeknight rule by going to that Tegan and Sara concert on a Thursday or Snapshot on a Tuesday, we pay the consequences the next morning. Calling in sick is not an option (you maxed out on vacation days back in August, remember?) and a bloody mary to-go will probably get you fired.   At this point, coffee is really your only hope of making it through the rest of the day with any dignity. If you live out in certain parts of Brooklyn, your good pre-work coffee options are, well, the opposite of bountiful. I will admit that as a Seattle transplant I am picky about what counts as a good coffee place. Any bodega is handy for a quick, extra sweet, drippy cup of drip for less than a dollar. Of course, if you were dancing on a speaker less than 6 hours ago, you might need something a little stronger.   Choice Market at Grand and Lafayette has some ridiculously tasty pastries and small breakfast plates but can also get mad crowded. The coffee is so-so and the service can get a little frantic when they are busy. Go for the noshes if that’s what your hangover really craves.   If you’re just looking for some strong espresso with a delightful ambience to wake you up, your absolute best bet is The Outpost Lounge on Fulton Street. Watch out- this coffee is strong, even by my standards. Their rich espresso swallows half-and-half without even thinking of getting any lighter. The food is so-so but the staff is amazingly friendly, will burn you a CD if you ask nicely, remember your name and make sure you are ready for another day at the grindstone.   If you’re morning train brings you through Atlantic Pacific terminal, it’s an easy shot to pop out on to Flatbush Ave, walk south to 5th and hang a right until you get to Gorilla Coffee. No comfy chairs to tempt you to be even later for work but the blaring music and unsmiling staff will you get in the mood for business. Drain a cup of their jet fuel coffee and nobody at work will suspect a thing about your party-girl alter ego.   Choice Market 318 Lafayette Ave Clinton Hill, Brooklyn   Outpost Lounge 1014 Fulton St. Clinton Hill, Brooklyn   Gorilla Coffee 97 5th Avenue (corner of Park Place) Park Slope, Brooklyn
From the Closet To The Rooftop: A Review of Pariah, a film by Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper
source: QueerFilmReview.com Two girlfriends ride the bus home from the club. It’s late, the bus’s lighting is dim. They joke, they laugh about who they saw and what numbers they got. The bus stops, doors creak and people exit. The bus continues with the stragglers/the partyers/the graveyard shift on board. Girlfriend with the fro is Laura. Girlfriend with the hat is Lee. And from the back, in terms of attire, they could both be boys. When Laura is refused the opportunity to see her best girlfriend home she gets off the bus in a huff, fades into the night. Lee leans back against the window, the lights flicker,or maybe the music comes in came in so slick/ Lee’s face changed so suddenly, that I thought a light flashed. The camera zooms in and, I don’t know…I dressed cute to go see Dee Rees’s “Pariah,” at Washington’s One in Ten Film Festival, but from that moment I knew my jacket/shoes/face would be coming off. Lee’s jaw fixes (Lee is a gorgeous/ like not even fair to the rest of the world type of pretty), her eyes focused, she takes off her hat. She takes off her oversized shirt to reveal a pink baby tee. She puts on her earrings. And I started to cry/choke/ put my head down. The world is a mountain. And this movie said, ‘move!’ “Pariah,” is a story that’s rarely told/even though I live it. Films often examine the process/repercussions/heart of men dressing like women. This film talks about when a girl wonders whether she wants boxers or panties. It follows the life of a young, Black woman battling her family about her sexuality. If I wasn’t a young, Black woman; I’d still be impressed. But since I am, this film catapults itself into another realm for me. It is revolutionary because it’s never been done before, giving voice to a community that was once silenced. Seductively sad and ridiculously honest, this film reads like the church family it features. Dee Rees, already on her next project, “Eventual Salvation,” has the antennae of a poet. The director preaches to an audience/congregation and still has the finesse to avoid a didactical or accusatory tone. With every mishap/location/detail/character— from the cute curious girl in the bathroom to the old lady giving looks on the bus— Rees provides every perspective. She delineates obscure/ignored/denied lifestyles by embracing stereotypes in one scene—like opening in a strip club—then flipping the script in another— like when Laura becomes soft, and nurtures her friend in one of Pariah’s most powerful scenes. — Girlfriend Lee runs to best friend Laura after a fight with her family. Laura with the afro and the baggy jeans lives in what looks like a cave. Laura in the sports bra nurses her girlfriend’s wounds, lays Lee’s head in her lap and rubs her head. While Sparlha Swa’s voice charmed my tears like a snake. The relationship between Laura, played by Pernell Walker, and Lee, actress, Adepero Oduye, is the crux of this film. Their interactions illuminate the rest of the work’s success in challenging/questioning/embracing what it means to be a Black lesbian/dom/ femme/child/girl/friend.— The topic is sensitive but the characters remain approachable, like you are no longer a member of the laity but a, dare I say it, dyke. At best, strangely akin to a woman who knows who she is. I want a sequel. I want Laura and Lee to fall in love. I want her father to still be an asshole (oh wait! That would make it a movie bout my life). I want her sister to hang out with her girlfriend—and that’s the mark of a great film/ book/meal/ kind of love you rise up in. With Pariah, you are left satisfied, but standing like a dolphin clapping for more. -- reviewed by jade
Good times on the Lower East Side?!
Things to be avoided at all costs: 1.Poison oak 2.Rush hour on the 4 train 3.Seafood from the Midwest And…   4.The bar scene on the Lower East Side.   The above statements were all firmly held beliefs of mine until a couple nights ago. Already dressed and ready for the White Party at Snapshot, I received a text message from a friend:  Birthday Party @9 at MaxFish 178 Ludlow. Ludlow? Ew. No. I had spent enough time at the Dark Room to get an idea as to what the crowd was going to be like. Bridge and tunnel, fake ids, upper west side Lindsay Lohan look-alikes.   Of course, however, we all know the rule: a birthday party is a non-option. A required, if you will. So without even taking the time to change out of my wife-beater and gold hot pants, I was on way to MaxFish.   I was clearly skeptical as I entered the long and narrow bar with blaring music and very little seating. There was no room for dancing and a pool table in the back was being dominated by three large dudes. Not to be thrown, however, I marched my hotpants self up to the bar, boldly ordered an extra sweet Manhattan and 2 pbrs and before I knew it, the entire birthday party had edged out the pool sharks with our Stevie Nicks twirls and overly aggressive birthday hugs. By the end of the night, we had made friends with all of the dogs (no, *actual* dogs) roaming the space and we were taking kamikaze shots like we were members of Beta Kappa.   I’m not going to make some sappy conclusion about how I was wrong to judge the lower east side and how I actually met some really fantastic people with whom I now have a standing Sunday brunch date. Rather, MaxFish did prove to me that I can have plenty of fun if a place can offer the following elements:   1.A bangin jukebox 2.Cheap drinks 3.Friendly bartenders 4.A booth full of my friends 5.A train really close by   On all the above accounts, MaxFish succeeded on Tuesday night. I think I might just leave my party dress at home next time...
Crosses, Porn Shops, Fire works and Ammunition! (my trip from NYC to LA)
I have been heading cross-country for the 4th time in 3 years, not for a casual vacation but for the fast four day commute from NYC to LA.  Unlike most I love it.  Alone with nothing but my diet coke and the open road.  Each time has been different in route but has been consistent in road side advertisement.  Mixed between the signs for Indian artifacts and cave exploring the all to often porn shop with it’s live show or largest video collection seem to stand out.   According to route 66 we Americans love guns, tits, firecrackers and Jesus.   I think Jesus might count twice though.  Now sitting in my hotel room just out side of Amarillo, TX I can’t help but think of an experience I had about three years ago in Indiana.  A friend and I had been living in a small town for about two months working on a two women show.  As you do in a small town in Indiana I headed out to the local bar.  I had spent about an hour or so chatting with a young man at the bar when I told him that my roommate was Allis.  He’s response was out and out denial “you don’t live with her, she lives with a lesbian.”  I again said “yes I’m her roommate“.   “No she lives with a lesbian.”  It’s funny that in his mind I didn’t LOOK like a lesbian so there for I couldn’t be one.  I’m not sure that I know what a person who stacks up on porn and ammunition while still going to church on Sundays looks like, but I sure as hell would be more afraid of them then someone who happened to be a lesbian.  Although I identify as an open lesbian and when asked I will always answer honestly for some reason when I hit the middle states I try to just blend.  Better to slip into the background and people watch then to cause a stir.  As a girl who has spent most of her life in large and accepting cities my heart goes out to those homosexuals who spend a lifetime blending in.  It’s all to clear that we homosexuals are not accept in middle America.  So much so that we seem to be over populating the outer most cities, such as LA, San Francisco. NYC and Miami.  With less then a day until my LA destination I can’t help but fantasize about an America that doesn’t ask me to blend in and ammunition, fireworks, porn and Jesus aren’t the most prominent attractions on a cross-country trip.
My Favorite Lesbian Comic!!!!!!
Have you ever wanted to be the one saying “oh I saw that girl before she was famous” Well don’t miss out on catching Bridget McManus. She can be seen all over town including Fridays at the Comedy Store. She’ll also be hitting up the best lesbian comedy show in town “Strap On Stand Up” this Feb 20th for the special musical edition. “Strap On Stand Up” is located at the Eagle LA 4219 Santa Monica Blvd in Silverlake. Show Starts at 9pm. Did I happen to mention I’m the host of “Strap On Stand Up”. Not only is Bridget tearing up the comedy scene she also has a weekly Vlog called “Brunch With Bridget” coming to you via www.Afterellen.com. This is your chance to see Bridget McManus now, because it will only be a matter of months before her career has taken off. You can see more of Bridget at http://www.myspace.com/bridgetmcmanus.
HRC L Word Premiere Party Pics!
Check out pictures from the GO sponsored L Word Premiere party at Pacha!
New Year, New Beginnings, New Drama...
  Hello and Happy New Year NYC ladies! Like many of you, I am SO grateful to have made it through yet another holiday season and into the New Year. With 2008 comes a few different things: more time to party without holiday interruptions, a new set of resolutions (By now I’ve gone running 3 times in 2008 and, girl, my butt already looks improved) and… season 5 of The L-Word.   In celebration of the season premiere, Go Magazine and HRC hosted a sweaty, glamorous, packed dance party and screening at mega-club Pacha all the way up at 46th St. in Manhattan. I found myself a prime seat on a staircase and didn’t even pay attention to all the distractions that come with watching a TV show at a club (someone’s pointy boots digging into my back, a spilled drink that pretty much went down the back of my pants and some girl spraining her ankle…) All of my attention was consumed by the lovely ladies of West Hollywood and, of course, the searing action of what may be the last season of this fine, fine porn show. Bette and Tina are still toying with each other, Shane is still hot AND a huge player, Max is still hot tempered and in transition and Jenny, well, Jenny is still one crazy bitch.   Aside from the showing, the party was full of some darling queer celebs- Dani Campbell and Bitch (formerly of Bitch and Animal) reminded us to vote vote vote (for real, ladies, if you aren’t registered already, go to www.credomobile.com/registertovote/ and get it done in time for the November election- i MEAN it!) and gave us a little info on the fantastic HRC. Lori Michaels and her dancers added some pop vibes to the party and the always fantastic go-go girls kept our jaws steadily fixed to the floor. Just another Sunday night with the ladies…
Piaf: Love Conquers All - The Soho Playhouse
Yesterday evening, I had the privilege to attend an 8pm performance of Piaf: Love Conquers All at the Soho Playhouse. A one woman-play starring Canadian actress Naomi Emmerson and written by Roger Pearce, Piaf is a truly exquisite and heart-wrenching piece of theater. The play is structured as a personal narrative, which intermittently gives way to vignettes of the great French chanteuese's tragic life, all of which are brilliantly portrayed by Emmerson. A less accomplished actress could have succumbed to the quick gear shifts in time and context within the script, but the transitions were absolutely seamless as we were at once able to experience both a retrospective account of Piaf's life and the events and emotions that made her time on earth so striking. The set design was sparse yet elegant, containing white furniture in a sketched style, and accented only by the color red; quite appropriate for an account of Piaf's life, often associated with her most famous work, "La Vie en Rose." Featuring 13 songs originally sung by the French songstress ("Non, je ne regrette rien", "Mon Dieu", and others), Piaf provided the audience with the depth of knowledge required to understand the heartache and emotion behind her legendary work, all the while managing to throw in a laugh here and there. Also, it is extremely important not to ignore the beautiful piano stylings of accompanist Carmela Sinco, whose skill and grace complemented the performance immeasurably. I knew very little about Piaf's life as I stepped into the theater, and I was accompanied by a friend who knew still less than I. I would like to note that both of us have been listening to "The Legendary Edith Piaf" since we've woken up this morning. Piaf: Love Conquers All is running as a special limited engagement at the Soho Playhouse, closing on January 20th. Tickets are still available online at www.sohoplayhouse.com, and I assure you, it will be money well-spent.
Weekly Girl Party in LA
What's happening in LA?  Now we have the tons of events in West Hollywood, for those who love to be part of the scene.  Lets face it we all love to be part of the scene, but for a taste of  something different you need to head on out to Silverlake.  Every Wednesday LA’s favorite leather bar opens it’s doors for the ladies.  This girl party known as Shot Gun has it all.  No cover and $1.50 beers makes it a cheep night out in LA.  Two pool tables, a smoking patio and the best bartenders, in this ladies opinion, in LA.  Oh and did I mention that they keep the porn playing on the TV screens.  Yes I said porn.  I can’t promise it will be anything worth wild but I did catch some 1920’s French porn once and then in the blink of an eye it was 70’s in it’s full porn glory.   After saying all that I must warn you that the Eagle LA is not a place for the faint of heart.  Each week the Promoters, Sarah and Meredith bring fun and exciting events.  They’ve got Drag Kings, Arm Wrestling, Arts and Crafts, Wet T-Shirt contests and every third Wed of the month they bring you “Strap On Stand Up”  Queer Comedy  that would make anyone blush.  The Eagle LA is located at 4219 Santa Monica Blvd, Silverlake CA.  For more info you can check their Myspace at  http://www.myspace.com/shotgunshotgun.
Curl Girls Sneak Peeks Across the USA!!
Check out pics from Curl Girls events sponsored by GO!
Ms. LEZ Pageant 2007
Pictures from the 7th Annual Ms. Lez Pageant hosted by Murray Hill!
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