Lesbian Love Octogon – Final Weekend

So, if you happen to be in New York this week you should take the time and go to see The Lesbian Love Octogon, a musical, currently housed at the Krain theater.

I had the pleasure of giggling and belly laughing at this poignant and well performed show last Saturday night. The plot revolves around a group of lesbian women living on the lower east side in the ’90s. The music and lyrics are quippy and hilarious — ditties like “dyke drama and tofu scramble.” And the message the audience is left with is an increasingly valid notion – we are more than the theory that has been written about our identities.

If you don’t take my word for it check out this Time Out review.

It is also worth mentioning that the fabulous Viri Lieberman has been documenting this musical comedy’s trip too off off Broadway — so if you go there’s a chance you might spot her! Check out her promo on indie gogo.

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The Education of Shelby Knox – Better Late Then Never…

The Education of Shelby Knox  (2005) is a must see. The film documents the  activism of teenager Shelby Knox’s and her fight for the right to comprehensive sex education for teenagers and for  basic civil rights for all people no matter their sexual orientation is inspirational. Knox’s struggle is of particular interest because of her conservative christian/ republican upbringing in Lubbock, TX.

Proving that you are never to young to speak up and speak out, Knox shines as a genuine critical-thinker who examines the moral framework of her upbringing and finds it lacking – noting that her god is a forgiving and loving god. Knox’s determination and endless pursuit of social justice reminds viewers why we need voices and activism.

In all honesty – I am late in the game on this one. I should have seen it six years ago, but it is still worth watching. For those of you who have Netflix – the film is available through instant watch or you can buy it on Amazon. And if you don’t know – Shelby is still out there fighting her fight. You can find her blog at shelbyknox.com and her twitter handle is @ShelbyKnox.

Got Gay? Teen TV does!

I read this NYT article today about therapists who counsel people on keeping their homosexuality a secret. It’s pretty interesting and genuinely worth a gander but sad! At least I think so. The article focuses on a psychologist named Denis Flanigan who is gay and feels that “Some gay evangelicals truly believe that to follow their sexual orientation means abandonment by a church that provides them with emotional and social sustenance — not to mention eternal damnation,” so if what makes them happiest is remaining in the closet, than that is how they should live their lives – despite the fact that this “means giving up any opportunity to have fulfilling relationships as gay men and women.”

While I think you should read this article and definitely comment to me about your thoughts – I find that the article pushes me to write about all the positive representation we are seeing regarding acceptance of varied sexual orientation. First of all – I haven’t noted it here, but Bravo NY for legalizing gay marriage!!! I Unfortunately, I live in a backwards state that continues to perpetuate hate and what I view as clear violations of basic civil rights – based on sexuality. (That’s right, Florida, I am calling you out this morning!) That said, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, marriage is clearly  one of the ways that our culture and culture at large perpetuates and supports herteronormative standards and benefits. As many of you know I am happily married and see no issue with commiting to love one person but theoretically, I do not agree with the link between marriage and social/governmental benefits. Not just because it favors heterosexuals but also because it discriminates against other lifestyle choices like single moms and dads. I’m off track a bit for where I want this blog post to go – but it’s also worth mentioning that tax deductions for children support heteronormative ideas as well. (Think about it; that’s all I’m saying.) Funny:

My true intention with this post is to point out what I’m calling a climate change in terms of representations of homosexuality on television. I don’t know how many of you watch teen television – but my PhD work deals with all kinds of teen representation, and I am repeatedly joyfully flabbergasted by how many teen shows are genuinely representing gay characters and the issues they face. Sorry the image is blurry – but it’s worthwhile to take a look at this slide show:

Beyond this list there is Santana on Glee and Emily on Pretty Little Liars and at this point I feel like there may even be others that have gone unnoticed by me – which I do not feel was the case when I was a teen watching TV. Please note: I am not saying that there are not issues with these representations – in many cases there are – but the mere idea of repeated representation of gay characters to the teen/tween audience underscores the idea that being gay exists, is normal and comes with issues like all other aspects of life in our prejudice/heteronormative world. Arguably representations that normalize homosexuality also work to eliminate homophobic hatred, don’t they?

In a world where teen suicide caused by fear of the exposure of one’s gayness is rising, teen tv gives me a little bit of hope. Well that and the It Gets Better Project.  Have you seen this? I cried:

Kim Gandy speaks for Clinton

SO I HATE TO PASS ALONG MESSAGES SECOND HAND, ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN A WHILE….BUT THIS IS WORTH IT.

Message from NOW PAC Chair Kim Gandy:

In a few hours, at 4:15 am to be exact, I’m headed out in the cold to yet another airport, this time to Chattanooga and then Knoxville, Tennessee to rally and speak for Hillary Clinton.

I’d go anywhere, any time, to shout from the rooftops that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for women, for our families, for our communities and for our future.

Here is why I care so much:

Hillary Clinton is a national leader of the highest order, with the strength and determination and experience to deliver real change to our country. She has been a leader on women’s rights and civil rights for over 30 years.

It is of special importance to me that Hillary is an unparalleled champion for women’s reproductive rights, justice and health. In fact, I’ve just signed a letter from many leaders: Martha Burk, Gloria Feldt, Cecelia Fire Thunder, Lulu Flores, Ellen Malcolm, Irene Natividad, Ellie Smeal, Gloria Steinem, and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones on why Hillary is the best choice for those of us who care so deeply about these issues.

Hillary has been through fire and emerged stronger with each challenge. She can take anything the Republicans can dish out, and give it back double. The Democrats need her, the country needs her, and she needs your vote on Tuesday.

Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to win in November, and to set our country right. She beat the Republicans in two landslide elections, despite predictions that she couldn’t win in upstate and rural New York. And it will take someone with her economic and national security strengths to beat John McCain. We know she can deliver on Day One — from getting our troops out of Iraq, to fixing the shattered economy and the mortgage crisis, to winning health care that covers every single person in this country.

Please vote on Tuesday for Hillary Clinton, and if you haven’t done it already, please email your friends and contacts in the Super Tuesday states and tell them that:

from her earliest days advising battered women, helping abused children, and providing free legal services to the poor,
to her time in the White House advocating for universal healthcare, championing the S-CHIP (State Child Health Insurance) program, and helping to pass the Violence Against Women Act,
to her service as a U.S. Senator, standing strong for reproductive rights and writing legislation to expand contraceptive access, helping win approval of emergency contraception, sponsoring equal pay legislation, and speaking out on the floor against the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, specifically saying that they would damage Roe v. Wade if confirmed. She was right, and I know we can count on her to nominate pro-women, pro-choice judges to the courts at every level.
She’s always stood up for us, and now it’s time for us to stand up for her with our vote and say “I’m Ready for Hillary.”

I’m ready.

P.S. Robin Morgan’s terrific new essay “Goodbye To All That (#2)” calls out the stereotypes, double standards and toxic viciousness against Hillary Clinton – Our President, Ourselves – and she concludes: “Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman-but because I am.”

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong (Not!)

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural
things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that
hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy
behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has
legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed
at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and
divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were
allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage
would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay
couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to
marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more
children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight
parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like
ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country.
That’s why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model
at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to
raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never
adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the
service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

A amazing feminist sent me this. She’s funny, beautiful, loveable and truly one of my favorite women on the planet.