Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Maggie Gyllenhaal Supports Writers, Girl-Girl Action

"I'm a slave to the written word."

Okay, my lesbian-crazed cyber friends: If Maggie Gyllenhaal didn't make you her bitch with Secretary or Sherrybaby, let's see if her new video in support of the WGA strike doesn't do the trick.

The spot, which is archived as Episode 34 on the Speechless Without Writers website should our embedded code stop working, features Gyllenhaal as a woman who discovers her caddish boyfriend, AMPiTePa (that would be the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, for those keeping track at home), is cheating on her with not one but two other women. Instead of making like Heather Graham and Natasha Gregson Wagner in Two Girls and a Guy and talking and talking (and talking) about it, this rowdy bunch gets tipsy together before Gyllenhaal retires to the hotel bed, asking her new friends if they want to "make an interim agreement" in AMPiTePa's absence. Then a pizza delivery girl shows up.

If you haven't given much thought to the writer's strike, hopefully this video will change your mind. There's a lot more at stake here than scribes getting screwed out of money — there are also lesbian orgies to worry about.

UPDATE: The video was interfering with the archive sidebar, so you'll have to view the clip here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This Week on DVD: January 29th Edition

Pretend there's a scary caption here.

The best new DVD release of the week is only slightly new, but it's so good that it's worth pointing out to anyone who missed it the first time around: Warner Brothers has re-bundled their two-year-old Val Lewton Collection with the new documentary Martin Scorsese Presents Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, which recently debuted on TCM and will also be available separately.

For those of you with one-track minds, lesbian subtext found its way into several Lewton movies (he was Alla Nazimova's nephew, after all), most memorably 1943's The Seventh Victim, but what makes this set so remarkable is that it gives fans an opportunity to appreciate the scope of Lewton's visionary ability to recognize directorial talent and emphasize psychological horror in response to budget constraints. Also, Simone Simon was the hottest "cat woman" ever, until Michelle Pfeiffer came along.

If you think my eyes are distracting, wait until you hear my accent.

Also new on DVD:

Glenn Close fans can gorge themselves on 500+ minutes of her new FX series, Damages, as the complete first season makes its way to DVD. Rose Byrne, Ted Danson and Tate Donovan costar.

Sophia Loren is reliably gorgeous in El Cid, which gets the 2-Disc Deluxe Edition treatment, but you'll also have to sit through two hours of Charlton Heston.

If you're so inclined, you can relive Groundhog Day over and over (and over) again, this time with a Special 15th Anniversary Edition release.

Sony releases Monty Python's Life of Brian in a new Immaculate Edition; the Criterion Collection edition is still available.

Spellbound documentarian Jeffrey Blitz focuses on nerdy kids again, this time in an acclaimed fictional film, Rocket Science.

Mary McCormack, who played Nia Long's partner in The Broken Hearts Club, stars in Right at Your Door, a thriller about dirty bombs in Los Angeles that is bound to make you queasy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Morning Short Cuts

"I defy any of you bitches to beat me at the Oscars."

Julie Christie looked great at the SAG Awards last night, just as you'd expect. Equally unsurprising, Juno star Ellen Page was born without the dress posture gene:

"Why, yes, I used to play team sports."

Five minutes with John Travolta would change all of that, but it's imperative she bring along someone who can yank her out of the room when the E-meter comes out. I volunteer Diablo Cody.

Josh Brolin is still in touch with his Flirting with Disaster character.

If Diane Lane, hot as ever in the previews for Untraceable, needs anyone to comfort her should Josh Brolin run off with Jeremy Piven, I'm very available.

Other Tidbits:

John Barrowman's autobiography, Anything Goes, is out in the UK — not unlike its author — and you can read an excerpt of it here.

Is Hayden Panettiere the new Jane Fonda? (These Washington Post reporters are referring to her activism, of course. While my exposure to Heroes is limited, I did catch Panettiere in Raising Helen and I don't think we'll be seeing her in a remake of Barbarella or Klute or Tout va bien or any time.)

In an interview with New York Magazine, Clay Aiken forgets that he isn't Lucinda Williams and journalist/fellow lesbian Ariel Levy isn't Bill Buford as he plays up the Southern shtick hardcore. What you'll learn, if you can hang with the Aiken for four excruciating pages, is approximately this: he's a Democrat now, a shameless self-promoter, and he "has never had a romantic relationship with anyone, unless you count the girls he took to dances back in high school in Raleigh." Sounds perfect for Raúl Esparza.

Reviews of Shelby Lynne's Just a Little Lovin' are coming in, and you can read them here and here. If you're looking for Lynne's contentious Advocate interview, we've got the scoop.

The Times points out that Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama have identical opinions on gay rights issues, while fear-mongering Republicans continue to pander to bigots.

Margo Bennett, the former lover of crazy lesbian novelist Patricia Cornwell, is blabbing about their relationship — you know, the one that made headlines when Bennett's husband hatched a murderous plot that landed him behind bars — in an upcoming book called Twisted Triangle. In a passage that makes Cornwell's schlocky prose sound downright Proustian in comparison, authors Caitlin Rother and John Hess write: "As they talked, Margo felt the blood coursing through her veins, very aware of the close proximity of her body to Patsy's. It felt dangerous. Wrong. Thrilling." Anyone else think this would make the perfect made-for-cable comeback vehicle for Kelly McGillis?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Survey: Britons Lie About Being Gay

"Me? I just haven't met the right woman yet."

The Office for National Statistics, which carried out a poll of 4,000 UK residents, has reported that only one in 100 respondents described themselves as gay. The Office, which acknowledged that some survey takers didn't understand the question about their sexuality and that researchers even failed to ask it in 15 percent of interviews, called the results "not a reliable estimate" of the gay population. Which should go without saying, shouldn't it, when you're talking about the same part of the world that embraced Blue, Boyzone, Samantha Fox, Kylie Minogue, Westlife, Robbie Williams and countless similar acts with such unbridled enthusiasm?

That's right, Great Britain — or should that be Gay Britain? — we're on to you. And it's not just your questionable taste in music that raised a pink flag. No, we've seen the way you love your AbFab and Helen Mirren. We've noticed your prurient interest in Cristiano Ronaldo's sex life and BBC adaptations of Sarah Waters novels. You're fooling about as many people as Morrissey, you sad wankers. Go on, call yourselves gay. If I could come out while attending high school in the friggin' Midwest, in a town that has more churches than fast food restaurants, I think you can divulge your orientation to a stranger with a clipboard.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sharapova Tops Ivanovic ... In Bed

"I haven't been this excited since I found those Mulholland Drive clips on YouTube!"

Yeah, that title was just to get your attention. Congratulations to Maria Sharapova, who beat Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 6-3 in the Australian Open final last night. In her victory speech, Sharapova cited an inspirational text message Billie Jean King sent her that read, "Champions take their chances and pressure is a privilege." Said Sharapova of King, "She's always a person who texts me if I have a tough moment or a great win. I woke up this morning to the text. I had those great words in my mind during the match."

My guess is the text continued, "BTW, how long do you think this Shane celibacy thing is going to last?" but Sharapova chose to keep that quiet rather than risk alienating her sponsors.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shelby Lynne: The Advocate Interview

The January 29th issue of The Advocate.

Note: Update posted 2/24/08, see bottom of post for details

Since posting this item about Shelby Lynne and her New York Times Magazine profile a couple weekends ago, I've been asked by several Googled-out lesbians for help locating the singer's latest interview with The Advocate. The article (written by Michele Kort, the Laura Nyro biographer and author of Dinah!: Three Decades of Sex, Golf, and Rock 'N' Roll, whose Portia de Rossi interview is one of the best I've read in The Advocate) isn't online yet, so to read the whole thing you'll have to go out and buy issue 1001 of the magazine, currently on newsstands. Out of the small amount of kindness that remains in my mostly-shriveled heart, I've assembled the gay-centric bits for you shameless gossip whores.

First, you must understand that this is no ordinary Advocate interview. Most Advocate interviews consist of a fawning reporter asking a Z-list celebrity what it's like to be a gay icon. By the second paragraph of Kort's three-page Lynne piece (five if you count all the photos), you know you're in for something different:
Doing press is "kind of a nightmare" for Lynne, and when The Advocate ventured out to take some pictures and talk about her new CD, Just a Little Lovin' -- on which she covers songs recorded by the timeless gay icon Dusty Springfield -- Shelby self-medicated, shall we say. Throughout the long afternoon and into the evening her emotions ebbed and flowed, from insecurity to confidence, petulance to intimacy. One moment she was hugging me, the next walking off in a huff with my tape recorder. "Don't worry," said Lynne's manager and friend, Elizabeth "Betty" Jordan, "she'll bring it back."
Cranky note: The nature of Lynne's relationship with Jordan (then known as Betty Bottrell) was first questioned by a brave reporter in 2001, and it didn't go over well with Shelby. Kort is more delicate in her approach to the subject:
In Elizabeth, Shelby found a manager, executive producer, and best friend. "It's very important. Very personal," Lynne says of their relationship. "I guess we were just there at the right time for each other. My life at that time was completely uprooted; all I had was that record that I was making. We've depended on each other now for eight years, for everything in life. And that's all there is to that."

I suggest that however Shelby describes it, the partnership seems primary. She agrees. "Primary is a good word, actually. Things that are that important you keep close as you can. You're so lucky if you ever get something that important."
Another Cranky note: So far, so good, right? Shelby hasn't broken a bottle of Southern Comfort over a pool table and challenged Michele to a rumble yet. Unfortunately, trouble is brewing:
But talking about whom she loves, even in the most generic terms, turns out to be off-limits, despite The Advocate's understanding going into the interview. In Palm Springs, Lynne got downright combative when I gingerly approached personal territory. "What's the question?" she asked several times. But when I asked, "Are you in a relationship?" she immediately interrupted with "I don't talk about my personal life." It was confusing: Shelby seemed to be demanding that The Question be asked even as she fended it off.

So now, on the phone, I bring it up again. She still stonewalls, but more gently. "I just don't think I want to ever be a part of a group of people who want to make announcements about their personal life," she says. "Because, you know, that's all you have."

"Do you hate labels?" I ask, because I'm sensing what may underlie her reluctance.

"Tell me, do I? You already know the answer."

When I call her a few days later for some follow-up questions, I ask one last time, in the gentlest way I can imagine, whether Shelby could subscribe to the sentiment Dusty famously expressed in a 1970 interview: "I know that I'm as perfectly capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy."

Shelby's just not having any. "It's fine that you keep wanting me to go there, but I just don't believe I need to," she says firmly. "I give away so much in the songs, man."

"But did you not think The Advocate would ask such a question when you agreed to do the interview?" I finally ask.

"But it's not anybody's business who I sleep with or who I fuck!" she says, as frustrated as I am. "I don't give a shit what the magazine is. People are going to come up with whatever they want to come up with on their own; I don't have to make announcements. Come on!"
Cranky again: Oh, for fuck's sake. The only thing I hate more than the closet-closet is the walk-in closet, that strange space that allows someone to acknowledge her "primary relationship" with another woman without using the word gay, while also giving her room to turn around and snap that she won't "make announcements" about her personal life. Lynne is right that it's nobody's business who she fucks (though asking whether someone is gay or straight or bisexual, or merely averse to labels, is hardly the same as asking for their partner's name, date of birth, and social security number), but she didn't have similar meltdowns when reporters assumed that person was male. And perhaps she's making things a bit more complicated than necessary. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure her sister was able to acknowledge her relationship with Steve Earle without doing a "Yep, I'm Straight" Time cover.

(Special thanks to H.M.C. for the magazine hookup.)

2/24/08 UPDATE - You can now read the complete article at Michele Kort's website.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gay Couples Are Just Like Straight Couples, and Also the Sky is Blue

Ma and Pa Kettle vacationing in Hawaii

Same-sex couples are just as committed to driving each other insane -- oops, scratch that last part, I meant just as committed -- as straight couples, two new studies have found. Isn't it charmingly quaint that this is considered news?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Gay Gladiator Watch: "Ice" Comes Out

"Touch my Melissa CD and I'll break your neck, twerp."

When former American Gladiator "Zap" told Maxim magazine earlier this month that "half the team was lesbians at one time," the world replied with a resounding "duh." Okay, the world didn't seem to react at all, but had it done so, you can safely assume the response would have been split between "duh" and a puzzled "only half?"

Last week, one of those lesbian gladiators announced herself on Access Hollywood, and it was none other than Lori "Ice" Fetrick, who once appeared on an episode of Ellen. Fetrick told the program that she has been gay since she was 18 years old, by which she probably meant she realized she was gay at 18. Though you never know with a gladiator; she might have graduated high school and decided to become a lesbian the way some people decide to become a mechanic. Gladiators are, after all, a special breed, and can become anything they want simply by setting their minds to it. (I read somewhere that Hawk actually turned himself into a hawk.)

About her sexuality, Fetrick said, "It was something that when I was on the 'Gladiators' I never talked about because I was in the height of my fame. You can't talk about it just like everybody says right now, you can't talk about being gay when you are in the height of your glory." By which she probably meant -- well, I have no fucking clue what she meant. I've read that quote several times and I'm still lost. Words like "gladiators" and "height of your glory" simply don't compute. Neither does the notion that Ice's sexuality was unknown to her adoring public. I was in grade school at the height of her fame, oblivious to the concept of homosexuality, oblivious even to my own glaring homosexuality, and yet somehow I knew Ice was a lesbian of Gertrude Steinian proportions. She was my favorite gladiator because of it, and the reason I chose this photo to accompany a previous post.

But in her Access Hollywood interview, Fetrick coyly suggests that some of her fans knew she was gay. Remembering the fun she had with fellow gladiators, she said, "Nitro and myself used to have contests on the road." Which means you weren't imagining things when you thought they were both flirting with Ellen Morgan.

To catch up with Ice, you can visit her official website.

This Week on DVD: January 22nd Edition

As a group, Torchwood's characters are almost as queer as the B-52's.

The first season of
Torchwood, the Dr. Who spin-off and brainchild of Queer as Folk creator Russell T. Davies, comes to DVD this week in a 7-set disc set. The series stars openly gay actor John Barrowman and is notable for its bisexual storylines.

More Tuesday releases of note:

The kind souls at the Criterion Collection have done their part to make this week's new DVD releases more exciting than last week's fare -- in addition to Alf Sjöberg's 1950 adaptation of Strindberg's Miss Julie and Lindsay Anderson's British New Wave classic This Sporting Life, they're offering 4 by Agnes Varda, a collection that bundles their previous Varda releases (Vagabond and Cleo from 5 to 7) with La Pointe Courte and Le Bonheur.

Oscar: "I wish I knew how to quit you."

Felix Unger and Oscar Madison continue to fight their mutual attraction in The Odd Couple - The Complete Third Season.

Felicity Jones and Henry Tilney star in the new Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, from a script by Andrew Davies, the prolific screenwriter who adapted Tipping the Velvet for the BBC.

Dr. Kerry Weaver marks her first full season as a lesbian who knows she's a lesbian in the eighth season of ER.

And finally, 20th Century Fox has assembled an attractively priced but redundant package of five of their Best Picture winners. The selections include How Green Was My Valley, Gentleman's Agreement, The French Connection, All About Eve, and The Sound of Music. As a bonus, because I neglected you over the weekend, here's a bizarre YouTube clip that turns The Sound of Music's infamous "cunt face"-sounding line into a Tourette's-like outburst.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What Are Salma and Penelope Hiding?

Coming soon to Cinemax...

From today's Rush & Molloy:
Both Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek lost precious personal photos during vacations abroad over the holidays. Hayek, who's a new mom, got her laptop stolen, and Cruz's camera was lost or stolen, according to letters sent out by Hollywood legal giant Marty Singer, warning media outlets not to run the images should they hit the market.
I think what Singer meant by that was "make sure to forward those photos to the Cranky Lesbian as quickly as humanly possible." The ass-grab shot (which you can see by scrolling here) is getting old. It's time for something new!

Healthy Relationships Are Overrated

"We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about."

If you visited a gay website -- well, a non-pornographic gay website -- this week, you probably read about the recent University of San Diego study that suggests gay relationships are healthier than straight relationships. (In related news, John Travolta and Kelly Preston will celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary this year. Congratulations, you crazy kids!) As Robert-Jay Green, the executive director of the Rockway Institute, summarized, "It all comes down to greater equality in the relationship. Research shows that lesbian and gay couples have a head start in escaping the traditional gender role divisions that make for power imbalances and dissatisfaction in many heterosexual relationships."

The findings were similar to those published by John Gottman and Robert Levenson in 2003. At the time, Gottman concluded, "The overall implication of this research is that we have to shake off all of the stereotypes of homosexual relationships and have more respect for them as committed relationships. Gays and lesbians may be more competent at having a mature relationship."

With the Gottman study -- and a mostly heterosexual readership -- in mind, Time magazine writer John Cloud wants to remind us that gay couples have problems, too. Problems like "crosscurrents of childhood pain, adult expectation and gay-community pathologies like meth addiction." This, I admit, confused me. Not a little, but a lot. As much as the Claymate phenomenon and the plot of The Big Sleep, if you require some indication of the profundity of my confusion. I mean, I'm as gay as a Liza Minnelli wedding and my last relationship ended not because of crosscurrents of childhood pain and gay-community pathologies like meth addiction, but because of my inability to communicate. (Good times!, btw.)

That sentence didn't just confuse me, it kind of pissed me off. Had I been able to scoop my jaw off the floor, the first words out of my mouth would have been, "Bitch, please. Like heterosexuals aren't addicted to meth!" Which, I admit, probably isn't the greatest or most serious reply to such a loaded statement, but what else is there to say in response to something that sounds so maudlin and pandering? It gets even better, as Cloud reflects on the breakup of his long-term relationship and notes:
And yet if ours had been a straight marriage, I have little doubt we would still be together. We had financial security and supportive families. We almost certainly would have had children. This isn't regret--fighting my homosexuality would be like shouting against the rain. But while the researchers are certainly right that straight couples have something to learn from gay couples, I think the inverse is true as well.
All of this sappiness and general ridiculousness piqued my interest in John Cloud, so I Googled his name. The first result was a Columbia Journalism Review article called "John Cloud Responds to His Critics." It was about his 2005 Time cover story on Ann Coulter, which was criticized for more things than I have the time or space to list. The second result was a TalkLeft post called "John Cloud: Today's Most Dissed Person in the Blogosphere." After reading those pages and others, including Cloud's request for "a moment of pity for moralizers who fall" (the moralizers are Ted Haggard and Larry Craig) and his essay "Put Dumbledore Back in the Closet" (which contains the line, "Some of the best Star Trek fan fiction—and there is so much you couldn't read it all in a lifetime—involves steamy Kirk-Spock love affairs"), I'm no longer so confused.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Adamo Ruggiero: Even IMDB Posters Knew

Adamo Ruggiero ... Britney Spears fan?

Surely I'm not the only misanthropic homo who makes a beeline for the Internet Movie Database message boards the second an actor comes out of the closet. IMDB users aren't just a notoriously homophobic and semi-illiterate bunch, they also have the world's worst-calibrated gaydar this side of Senator Larry Craig's wife. If you don't believe me, try reading up on Michelle Rodriguez or Wentworth Miller. (And might I point out that before T.R. Knight came out of the closet, his delusional IMDB fans had him secretly involved with Katherine Heigl? Plus, Neil Patrick Harris can't be gay. He likes Kate Winslet!)

To celebrate Adamo Ruggiero, who plays Marco on TV's Degrassi, coming out of the closet, I was going to compile a list of IMDB quotes debating his sexuality. You can imagine my surprise when I found these comments, taken from years-old threads called "He's Not Gay in Real Life" and "Why Everyone Thinks He's Gay," instead:
I don't know him personally, but he goes to my highschool and my friends who know him tell me he's not really gay.

reed his profile its sounds a little gay but i dont care if he is gay --i still think hes hott!!!

ok he so is not gay in real life, and his profile doesnt sound gay either! How can a pf sound gay??????? hello have some sence.!

hey is gay i saw him kiss another guy in my school

I doubt that he's gay. After all, it is ACTING. I could act like a lesbian if I tried, and it wouldn't mean anything. But that whole shaggy hair look is SOOOO sexy. (From season 2) I'd wanna make him turn straight if he was really gay!!!

Adamo's not really gay?! OH THANK GOD! Even though I still doubt that I have a chance because he's too much older than me for us to date, I'm soo happy. I had a few doubts because on DeGrassi unscripted he kindof came off as gay with the shoes and the hats. And he does too good a job of acting gay. But again THANK GOD HE'S NOT GAY!

he is friend lives two houses away from him and we hear him listening to Britny Spears and like other girl his boyfrind is there almost everyday...he might be bi...but he definately likes men and acts gay when we see him...but im not saying thats a bad thing or anything

I listen to Britney Spears and I'm not a lesbian.

ok wow...that was the least smart comment ive seen here on these posts. First of all just cause someone listens to Britney and is male doesnt mean hes means he has poor choice in of all my gay and listens to Britney. Yes there are many gay males who adore her...But not all do. THIRD OF ALL...for you...girly who made a comment about you listening to Britney Spears and not being a lesbian..I think they made the previous comment based on the fact that he is MALE listening to Britney..Lots of girly girls listen or have listened to Britney..Me? Personally? Hell no..Now...if you are a female and listening to...K.D. Lang or Melissa Etheridge that would make more sense of why someone would think you were a lesbian. NOT that straight people cant listen to them or that ALL lesbians DO listen to them. I AM a lesbian actually and I listen to SOME of Melissas songs but none of K.D. Lang. So..think before you type lol.

screw britney and destiny's child, the real proof lies in his listening to the goddess of queer music: JUDY GARLAND!!

i saw him at a gay club called "buddies" last night. he was dancing right beside me and i knew it was him. and then i saw him having a smoke outside with a friend. my guess is that he is gay.

If anyone has seen his Degrassi Unscripted you can see that there is something defintely not straight about him. His flamboyant hand movements the fact that he kept saying "And All that Jazz" and his room was done in some kind of pink tone.. And when it showed his cd collection he had the spice girls... Come on... I pretty sure Degrassi Unscripted is supposed to show what actors are like beyond their characters so unless Canadian men like to dance around saying And All that Jazz and listen to the Spice Girls...

He's probably bi because he's been playing a gay character for 3 years.

ok. have you seen his unscripted? his room looks like a twelve year old girls room. he talks gay. i seriously did not think he was gay in real life but geez, he is gayy

Adamo's straight just like Lance Bass is.

He is completely gay. I mean come on. Look at his 100% feminine-lookin ass.

You are a moron. He is NOT gay!

He is gay. My friend's friend actually dated him for about 5 months last year, and he is a guy.
It's official, if a little hard on the eyes (and brain) to scroll through: 15-year-olds have better gaydar than Jodie Foster fans. It indicates social progress, sure, but it was also bittersweet to find so few replies pompously pointing out that not everyone is gay. Maybe that's the kind of bitchiness that is only learned with age.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Samantha Fox's Lesbian Wife Swap

"Why do drag queens always fight at my shows?!"

Samantha Fox, the faded "Touch Me" pop star and former Page Three model, will appear on the British edition of Wife Swap later this month with her partner, Myra Stratton. In the episode, Fox takes the place of comedian Freddie Starr's wife and cares for his infant daughter. If this inspires American TV producers to have Taylor Dayne move in with Gallagher, we will know the apocalypse is nigh. For a photo of Fox with Starr, click here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ellen Page on "The Breakfast Club" and Blow Jobs

Ellen Page in Hard Candy: "I fucking hate Goldfrapp ... but I love Team Dresch."

Clearly this item belongs in the department of delayed reactions bin this New York Magazine article first appeared in late November, before I started spewing nonsense here but out of the kindness of my heart I'm posting it anyway, for the throngs of young lesbians who have been running straight home from screenings of Juno en masse to Google "Ellen Page + baby dyke." (I know you're out there because I'm related to one of you.)

From Page's interview with Logan Hill:

"What they do to Ally Sheedy at the end of The Breakfast Club," she groans, recalling how Sheedy's androgynous loner gets a pink Barbie makeover so she can kiss the jock. "How could that have been allowed to happen? No, really. I mean it. I know it's iconic … but you've got to be kidding me!

"Think about the poor kids who've watched this stuff," she continues, leaning into her argument. Films like that make tomboys like her "start judging ourselves, just because, you know, you'd rather climb trees than give blow jobs."
And Hill notes of Juno:
The movie could very well make her a star, not just the next Molly Ringwald but the next Johnny Depp: a transgressive teen idol whose weirdo-hero crossover appeal might evolve into real staying power. But perhaps it really is best that she avoid L.A. Because right now she's watching herself play one kind of girl yet still being pushed toward another. "It's just freaky. Like, are we really still stuck there?" she asks, noting that a few photo shoots have already set off warning bells. "Every shoot, I don't want to be thrown some lacy pink shirt—sometimes I would prefer to not wear a shirt at all. At least I'd be owning that moment.

"I mean, Annie Lennox used to be able to dress like a man and sell albums," says Page, in her flannel shirt and Converse sneakers. "I don't think a big star could do that right now."

So, let's tally things up. Ellen Page calls John Hughes out on his hackiness, points to Annie Lennox as a style icon and comes out in favor of climbing trees over giving blow jobs. By my calculations that means she kicks ass, and her ass-kickingness must be celebrated now, before Hollywood chews her up and spits her out, right onto the sets of movies like Anna and the King and Flightplan. And don't play dumb about that last part; you wouldn't be here right now if you didn't think there were a few similarities between Page and Jodie Foster.

Speaking of which, if you're disappointed by a lack of explicit lesbian content in this post, thinking perhaps I'd have footage of Page re-creating scenes from Bound with one of her Canadian compatriots to offer you, I have two things to say. First: you're an idiot. Second: keep an eye out for an upcoming movie called Jack and Diane, which stars Page and will feature some girl-girl action with a lycanthropic twist. It is undoubtedly the film Lon Chaney Jr. always wanted to make.

This Week on DVD: January 15th Edition

It's better than She Hate Me, but when you think about it, what isn't?

This week's new DVD releases don't quite rival last week's offerings in the lesbian interest department, but then January is usually a weak month for DVDs in general. My top pick, less for its not so considerable gay content than for its historical importance, is She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee's first feature-length film.

Controversial upon its 1986 release for its matter-of-fact treatment of female protagonist Nola's healthy sex life -- she spends the movie juggling three (male) lovers -- She's Gotta Have It l
aunched Lee's career into the stratosphere and made his fictional alter-ego, Mars Blackmon, a pop culture icon. Through the supporting character of Opal Gilstrap (yes, strap), a somewhat predatory friend of Nola's played by Raye Dowell, it also provided an early insight into Lee's views on lesbianism; views that were made abundantly clear 18 years later in She Hate Me.

More Tue
sday releases of note:

"I wonder if Randy remembered to turn off the stove."

Fox triple-dips with the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr weeper An Affair to Remember, this time commemorated in a 50th Anniversary Edition, while MGM goes for the double-dip with Norman Jewison's Sidney Poitier/Rod Steiger classic In the Heat of the Night, which gets the 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition treatment.

smith star Sally Hawkins stars in a Masterpiece Theatre production of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

Wanda Sykes makes the occasional guest appearance on the first season of the Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine.

Alex Haley's "Queen", the 1993 miniseries that starred Halle Berry and has an excellent supporting cast too large to mention here, join
s Roots on DVD.

I'm mesmerizing you with my oddball delivery and jokes about bicurious shoes.

Alec Baldwin, who would be my ultimate guy crush if he promised to stop with the menacing voicemail messages, stars with Sarah Michelle Gellar in Suburban Girl, a big-screen adaptation of "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing."

The 1990 made-for-TV movie Murder in Mississippi, which stars Tom Hulce, Jennifer Grey, Blair Underwood and CCH Pounder, finally makes its DVD debut.

One of the world's most sexless sex symbols, Jessica Alba, stars with one of the world's unfunniest comedians, Dane Cook, in the monstrosity Good Luck Chuck.

Finally, if anyone cares, When Harry Met Sally... is being released again, this time in a Collector's Edition. I encourage you to skip Meg Ryan's fake orgasm and watch Annie Hall in
stead. Just say no to Nora Ephron!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Australian Open Programming Reminder

"I used to play doubles with Dana Fairbanks, if you catch my drift."

North American viewers, take note: ESPN2's coverage of the Australian Open begins tonight at 7 EST. The Australian Open, like all Grand Slam tennis tournaments, has special significance to the gay community. Every year, for two weeks at a time, it allows us to gawk at a seemingly endless parade of lesbians dressed in small amounts of clothing, working themselves into a sweat while they shriek and grunt and moan in defeat. On the men's side, there are the cheeky antics of Novak Djokovic to look forward to -- and it's just a matter of time before some crazy straight women start writing X-rated Federer/Nadal slash fiction.

As for me, my favorite part of the Australian Open is the commentary provided by Mary Carillo, who is more likely to quote Simpsons episodes as she deconstructs a player's game than gab about her jewelry or what she had for lunch. (Yes, Tracy Austin, I'm looking at you. I don't watch tennis to hear about your salad or what you're wearing.) My love for Carillo, which blossomed when I read that she once explained a loss by saying, "I blame society," and grew when I saw her spots with Johnny Weir during NBC's Olympic Ice, is sometimes the only thing that keeps my TV off mute during ESPN2's tennis coverage. One can only listen to so much Patrick McEnroe, Pam Shriver, Chris Fowler and Mary Joe Fernandez before lapsing into a coma, and I'm expected at work this week.


"So, what are you doing after the press conference?"

The Internet is a truly magical place. Not long after I posted this, I was sent a link to Tennis Slash. While I'd never given much thought to a Safin/Federer pairing, I have to say, until Rafa cuts his hair and burns every last pair of those awful capri pants, it's the hotter alternative.

Shelby Does Dusty, Possibly Other Women

"I hope I remembered to set my TiVo for The L Word."

What did we learn from Rob Hoerburger's fascinating profile of Shelby Lynne in this weekend's New York Times Magazine? Well, for starters, she digs booze, college football and Gladys Knight. And she doesn't like modern country music, explaining, "The new stuff all sounds the same. I’m not ragging on anybody, but it doesn’t require emotional involvement. What Carrie Underwood is singing about has already been heard. It’s in a beautiful package. But my duty is to take the hard route."

We learn that Barry Manilow, who is a fan of her music, is the one who suggested she record an album of Dusty Springfield covers. (She did, and "Just a Little Lovin" comes out later this month.) And we learn that Shelby, who has been known to get a little cranky herself when asked about her sexuality, still isn't ready to come out of the closet -- though she's not exactly shutting herself in, either. Of Lynne's similarities to Springfield, Hoerburger writes:
There are some solid parallels, though, musical and non-, between the two women. “Dusty in Memphis,” for all its acclaim, wasn’t much of a hit when it was released, just as “I Am Shelby Lynne” wasn’t. Springfield, like Lynne, could be temperamental; she was a perfectionist who frequently delivered the goods in the 59th minute of the 11th hour, and watch out if you got in her way before then. And then there were the gay rumors that dogged Springfield most of her career, which in her case turned out to be true, though she never used the word “lesbian” officially. That same speculation has followed around Lynne, who was married briefly when she was 18, and neither will she confirm nor deny, saying only that she goes where the love is. “I’ve done everything on every corner of the universe,” Lynne said, “but I’m not going to make an announcement about it.”
I'm not sure an announcement is necessary, given how dykey (if ever-gender neutral) the song "Lonesome" is, but there you have it. Here's a clip of Shelby singing "I Only Want to Be With You."

UPDATE: If you found this page while looking for Shelby Lynne's interview with the gay magazine The Advocate, you can find it here.

Tom Cruise Loves Heterosexual Man-Woman Sex, Hates Queers

"Damn, check out the ass on that guy. I mean, girl."

I don't plan on reading Andrew Morton's new Tom Cruise biography that comes out on Tuesday -- and even if I was, I wouldn't admit it here (the Internet lasts forever, you know) -- but early reports of its contents suggest a comic masterpiece on par with David Sedaris's best work. Sayeth the website
Digital Sky in their sneak preview:
Tom Cruise: An Unauthorised Biography claims the actor has chased women throughout his life.

Melissa Gilbert, who dated Cruise when he was 19 before being dumped for Heather Locklear, told Morton: "I can honestly say he's a very sexual person. There was a lot of making out on the couch in my mom's living room."

One former date claimed he was homophobic after seeing his reaction to musical La Cage Aux Folles, saying: "Men dressed as women, he couldn't handle it. We had to leave before the intermission. It really bothered him. He was definitely homophobic."
Bert Fields, Cruise's mega-lawyer, has called the book "outrageous, sick stuff," and so far I'm inclined to agree. There has to be more to Gilbert's couch story than Morton lets on, like maybe the room had such hideous window treatments that Tom was desperate for a distraction. Nor am I sold on the La Cage Aux Folles story, mostly because I have a hard time believing that someone so aggressively anti-gay would agree to star in Top Gun. (Or, you know, line up to see La Cage Aux Folles in the first place.)

Okay, so we know that dim-witted, homophobic actors are occasionally tricked into playing gay roles or starring in films with a heavy gay subtext -- we've all heard the Charlton Heston stories. But
Top Gun is so spectacularly gay that even someone who believes in Xenu would pick up on the sexual tension between Maverick and Iceman; the special nature of Maverick's relationship with the pornstachioed Goose; and the significance of Maverick's love interest being a Kelly McGillis character named Charlie. It could only have been gayer if Bob Mackie designed the flight suits.

You can read more about Tom's robust and lifelong appetite for heterosexual intercourse with biological women at Slate. I warn you, however, that it will leave a bad taste in your mouth, which is why I'm posting a photo of Tom's former employee Penelope Cruz grabbing Salma Hayek's ass to help cleanse your palate:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Week in Gay News

Because posting a photo of Anderson Cooper would have been too easy.

We've already heard about Dykes on Bikes, Stephen Fry kicking ass, and lesbian American Gladiators this week, so here are a bunch of other gay stories that were in the news:

Millionaire Gerurdas Gerrit Heijne has been charged with
murdering his partner, Frank Cianciosi, in their Perth penthouse.

Wacky pastor Ken Hutcherson is
gaining allies in his bizarre fight/shameless publicity stunt against Microsoft, a company he has criticized for their lack of homophobic practices.

Daily Mail published a characteristically salacious account of lesbian rugby player Elaine Grant's suicide.

In England, school officials have
denied charges that 14-year-old student Belinda Allen's suicide was motivated by homophobic bullying at the hands of her classmates.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's
history of racism and homophobia finally caught the attention of CNN.

In Brazil, a transsexual hairdresser and her partner
lost custody of their adopted baby because of a homophobic government official.

A Russian court has
declined to press charges against gay rights activists, including Moscow Pride organizer Nicolas Alexeyev, who were detained while protesting against homophobic politicians during a December election.

Ralph Becker, the new mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, has
proposed a domestic partner registry that will be voted on by city council later this month. If Bill Henrickson and his wives really existed, they'd probably be scandalized by this. (With the possible exception of Margene, who wouldn't mind registering with Ana.)

In Maryland,
domestic partnerships have been defined and Republicans aren't happy. However, it is important to note that most Republicans have been unhappy since Showtime canceled
Queer as Folk, thus making it harder for them to get their weekly dose of hot guy-on-guy action without having to intercept credit card bills so their wives don't Google Sean Cody.

In Sydney, Australia, police have been accused of ignoring a rash of anti-gay hate crimes.

Finally, Kevin Spacey hasn't tried his hand at writing or directing since
Beyond the Sea flopped, but I think I've found the perfect story for him to option:
A gay man who had sex on the beach with three male prostitutes but was unable to pay was robbed of his cellphone and wallet, it was alleged in the Cape Town magistrate's court on Thursday.

Court officials battled to keep straight faces as self-confessed prostitutes Reagon Adonis, 23, Steven November and Jamie Lee Davids, both 20, told of their experience with a client, Marius Jacobs.

They pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery, but magistrate Ingrid Freitag changed their pleas to not guilty after hearing their story.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

In Praise of People Who Criticize Chris Matthews

"This Matthews guy is driving me crazy!"

If you're familiar with Chris Matthews and his MSNBC show Hardball, you already know that he's kind of a jerk. It's not like he does much to hide it, what with all of the tongue baths he has given the Bush administration over the years and his nonstop swiping at Bill and Hillary Clinton. You might have also noticed his tendency to lose interest in interview subjects who resist coaching, or the way he spits (sometimes literally, which might explain why so many of his guests appear via satellite) questions at his panel in a tone that suggests he cares less about their answers than about making his own not-so-subtle points with what he asks them. It is also hinted at in the way he sometimes says the word "gay" like he's saying "date rape" or "chlamydia," but that's a post for another day.

His agenda-pushing was certainly on full display during his Iowa caucus coverage, in the
language he used to describe Barack Obama. And for the last several weeks, it has been completely unavoidable when he talks about Hillary Rodham Clinton. Matthews attacks her so frequently, so viciously, with such unabashed glee, that it almost makes you wonder if his hatred isn't hiding something deeper. Something private. Very private. Fine, I'll come right out and say it. What if his invective is a decoy, partly borne of subconscious self-sabotage, that must be deployed with increased frequency as he desperately struggles to smother an illicit and all-consuming sexual passion for a powerful and unattainable woman? Seriously, consider the language he uses when he talks about Clinton possibly defeating Obama and tell me he hasn't dreamed of the senator from New York showing up at his dressing room with a riding crop in hand, ready to punish him for all the negative things he has said about her.

That is why I was thrilled to wake up this morning and see that Matthews, in the wake of Hillary's New Hampshire victory, is being called on his boorish, unprofessional behavior. And not just in sloppily written, ultimately meaningless blurbs by jackasses like me. If you haven't already, you might want to check out:

Do you get the idea I kind of liked the Rebecca Traister article? I'm not sure I was clear enough.

Because You Deserve It

Need a little help getting over hump day? I suggest you clear four minutes from your schedule and watch the 1987 music video for "What Have I Done to Deserve This." As videos go it is pretty pedestrian, but the song is about as perfect as pop music gets and the video is so very, very gay that I challenge you to isolate the one element that could be crowned the gayest. Having to choose between the Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield is hard enough as it is, but when you factor in the double Axel-esque leaping that occurs around the 2:20 mark and the fact that Dusty's hair, makeup, and general demeanor give you an idea of what would happen if a drag queen and drag king mated, that's when things start to get interesting.

Is This Because I'm Unqualified?

"Why am I holding a large imaginary bowl during an interview?"

New Hampshire voters clearly haven't forgiven Fred Thompson for his mistreatment of Roseanne Conner and her coworkers at Wellman Plastics. The actor and Republican presidential candidate received only 1% of the vote in the state's primary on Tuesday. While his Law & Order character famously denied harboring an anti-gay bias, Thompson is against gay marriage and told Fox News journalist Chris Wallace that he personally thinks civil unions are a bad idea, though he supports a state's right to decide whether to allow them. His heartbreaking generosity in the "right to choose" arena does not extend to reproductive rights, naturally, because letting women decide what to do with their own bodies is crazy talk.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gay Gladiators? How Shocking!

We're gay. Gay for bodybuilding.

If by shocking you mean not at all shocking, and as transparent as Bert's forbidden love for Ernie.

With that out of the way, the men of American Gladiators (original crispy edition, not new and improved with reduced frightening hair), spoke with Maxim recently about their bygone glory days. Ben Widdicombe of the New York Daily News rehashed their comments about painkillers and steroids over the weekend, saving the best revelation, courtesy of "Zap," for last: “Half the team was lesbians at one time. But it was just women with women; there were no gay guys on that show.”

Okay, Zap, if you insist. But I'm pretty sure I saw Gladiator spandex-tenting once or twice during Breakthrough & Conquer.

Another Reason to Love Stephen Fry

Jude Law likes them tall and intellectual.

Stephen Fry, the brilliant actor, comic, writer, and all-around hot piece of ass, wants to know why the media lauds straight actors for playing gay roles. In an interview with the BBC's Radio Times, he noted that gay actors are never told, "How brave of you to kiss that woman, that must have been very difficult for you."

"It wouldn't be that difficult for me to kiss a woman," Fry continued. "I'll kiss a frog if you like. It's difficult to ride bareback backwards while unicycling, but to kiss someone isn't difficult." Perhaps we could start a collection to fly Stephen to Los Angeles, so he could explain this to the American media. Brokeback Mountain came out two years ago and I still have a headache from all the stupid questions that were asked of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Given the opportunity, you don't ask those two if it was hard to kiss. You ask them to apologize for The Four Feathers and Bubble Boy.

Lawyer Offended by "Dykes" Told to Shove It

Queen Latifah is all smiles as she celebrates the Supreme Court's decision.

Michael McDermott, the attorney and loon extraordinaire who was unsuccessful in his attempt to overturn a 2006 U.S. Patent Office decision allowing everyone’s favorite decades-old organization of motorcycle-loving lesbians to trademark the name “Dykes on Bikes,” was
bitch-slapped by the Supreme Court Monday when they denied review of his appeal without comment. (I think we can all agree the no comment part deserves an "oh, snap.")

McDermott originally argued that the phrase Dykes on Bikes was “disparaging to men” and “scandalous and immoral.”
Having tried unsuccessfully for a good ten minutes to come up with a Shangri-Las or John Travolta/Wild Hogs joke, I will now admit defeat and acknowledge that I have nothing to add to this story; I was just itching to post that picture.

Monday, January 7, 2008

This Week on DVD: January 8th Edition

Mariel Hemingway prepares for a long career of playing queer characters.

Get your Netflix queues in order, because a landmark lesbian movie finally makes it to DVD tomorrow as Warner Brothers releases Robert Towne’s
Personal Best. Starring Mariel Hemingway as Chris Cahill, a young Olympic hopeful who becomes involved with a fellow athlete played by real-life track star Patrice Donnelly, the film was celebrated by Pauline Kael at the time of its release in a manner she usually reserved for works by Altman, Bertolucci and De Palma. Of Towne’s accomplishment, she marveled:
When he shows Chris and the other heroine arm-wrestling, he concentrates on their throbbing veins and their sinews and how the muscles play off one another. He breaks down athletic events into specific details; you watch the athletes’ calves or some other part of them, and you get an exact sense of how their bodies work – it’s sensual and sexual, and it’s informative, too. The film celebrates women’s bodies without turning them into objects; it turns them into bodies. There’s an undercurrent of flabbergasted awe. Everything in the movie is physically charged.
Her gushing lasts a full four pages, ending with something I could have told her by the time I was twelve:

Watching this movie, you feel that you really can learn something essential about girls from looking at their thighs.

While Personal Best attained cult status, it made only $5.6 million at the box office in 1982, the same year another groundbreaking gay movie, the Michael Ontkean/Harry Hamlin romance Making Love, grossed $11.8 million. More than 25 years later, both films can be found on Box Office Mojo’s list of the 100 highest-grossing gay movies since 1980, a sad reminder that LGBT films have yet to enter the mainstream at American movie theaters.

The DVD, which currently has a pre-order price of $13.99 at Amazon, will include an audio commentary by Robert Towne and actor Scott Glenn. You can read Roger Ebert’s original four-star review at his website.

More Tuesday releases of note:

"Well, I was known for doing a certain thing that many of the other girls wouldn't do."

Jane Lynch, the greatest lesbian in the history of the world (pictured above in A Mighty Wind), appears in Gregg Araki's Smiley Face, a comedy starring Anna Faris. As an added bonus, here’s a clip of Lynch performing the Guatemalan love song from The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Holland Taylor and honorary gay Jon Cryer don’t argue with me, you know Duckie was a lesbian – star in the second season of Two and a Half Men, a sitcom I’m largely unfamiliar with, though I know it features Melanie Lynskey of Heavenly Creatures in a supporting role.

Nancy Kulp devotees take note: some company I've never heard of is releasing a
Beverly Hillbillies collection.

Ellen Corby and Will Geer do the Ma and Pa Kettle thing in the sixth season of
The Waltons.

Eddie Izzard, everyone’s favorite transvestite comedian, stars in the first season of
The Riches, an FX series that costars Minnie Driver.

"Why does everyone think we're gay?" a despondent Cary Grant asks Katharine Hepburn.

Republic Pictures has assembled an underwhelming Cary Grant box set that collects
Indiscreet, Operation Petticoat, The Grass is Greener, and That Touch of Mink. Operation Petticoat, directed by Blake Edwards, is notable for pairing Grant with Tony Curtis, who mimicked him a year later in Some Like It Hot. That Touch of Mink, a romance with Doris Day, contains a dated, allegedly comic subplot with Gig Young, who is mistaken for homosexual.

Russell Crowe, the Oscar-winning actor, concierge-hating karate master, and noted Jodie Foster hag, stars in
3:10 to Yuma, James Mangold’s acclaimed remake of the Delmar Daves western classic. American Psycho alum turned Dark Knight Christian Bale costars.

Jake: "This Anne Murray hair didn't happen by accident."

For the Jake Gyllenhaal fans who will inevitably stumble upon this page while scouring the Internet for evidence of his lesbianism, Paramount double-dips with a
Zodiac 2-Disc Director’s Cut. I’m not easily scared by movies – that’s what happens when your brother forces you to endure repeated viewing of Jerry Lewis flicks as a child – but I will admit that I was jumpy for a good two days after seeing Zodiac. If you ever want me to kick you in the crotch, just sneak up on me while playing “Hurdy Gurdy Man.

Finally, for the size queens among us, the same company that’s releasing the Beverly Hillbillies set has put together a Milton Berle collection. I'm not bothering with a link because Milton Berle was rude to RuPaul. If he didn't like a 6'7" drag queen, he wouldn't like the rest of us either.

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