Sunday Funday is a Totally Hardcore Badass Babe

Happy Sunday Funday! It’s the first day of the rest of your life. Shouldn’t it be full of good news and sandwiches? I’m going to brunch today, so I’ll be having a little bit of both.

photo by freddy on flickr

This week, gay people are one incredibly small step closer to equality and a bunch of badass, outspoken, and/or good-looking women are working hard for LGBT equality and saying important stuff.

Gay Parents May Soon Take VA By Storm

A Virginia State Senator is shaking up the issue of gay adoption to protect hopeful queer parents from discrimination, although the state’s marriage laws still serve as an obstacle to non-hetero couples trying to start families:

Although Virginia’s Board of Social Services voted to continue a policy that allows faith-based groups and adoption agencies to screen prospective parents on religious or moral beliefs back in April of last year, Senator Adam Ebbin has recently introduced legislation “which would not allow Virginia to fund or contract adoption agencies who discriminate against prospective parents on the basis of ‘race, religion, national origin, sex, age, family status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.’”

gay families are adorable

Jane Lynch to be Honored for Gay Advocacy

The National Center for Lesbian Rights will be honoring Jane Lynch for her gay advocacy in May at their 2012 Anniversary Celebration.

Kelli Connel’s Photography is Nice

The Advocate described Kelli Connel’s series of dual portraits as “packed” with feeling, which makes sense considering that’s what the images in her “Double Life” collection are about. The pivotal descriptor they left out, though, was “lesbian feelings.”

She created each image in the series by taking photographs and then collaging them digitally to form one photo of two figures. Each is meant to describe some facet of lady relationships. It looks like your life.

Cynthia Nixon Thinks “Gay Is Better”

You’re probably gonna enjoy “Life After ‘Sex,’” the New York Times Magazine feature on Cynthia Nixon’s new play and love of being gay.

The actress even went all queer theory on us once or twice, discussing why being gay can be a choice and why nobody is allowed to label her:

“I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.” 

Hardcore 8-Year-Old’s Debut Goes Smoothly

I can’t tell whether this is enjoyable, inspiring, cool, or kind of weird:

Kids death-growl the darndest things. Yesterday YouTube user thetinaxo uploaded this music video for 8-year-old Juliet’s “First Hardcore Song,” and after racking in more than 4 million views in the first day, I think it’s fair to say that it’s a hit. Among the things Juliet snarls about in the Mum-produced video are her love for her dog Robert, her affection for her unnamed fish (smell notwithstanding), and, again, her love for her dog Robert. Just watch out for that stuffed animal mosh pit.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Total Badass, Read About Her

Slate’s extensive interview with Aung San Suu Kyi is like reading a conversation being had with an intelligent and poetic woman. Oh, wait.

Slate: How did you keep going?

I had enough to do to keep this house from toppling down. I could listen to the radio and I had access to books from time to time. Not all the time.

Two Pretty Things Featuring Bread

Looking at food is almost as great as having it in your mouth, I think. And right now I wish I had bread in my mouth.

+ “9 Masterpiece Sandwiches” are both delicious and, for the art history majors in the house, actually pretty funny:


+ And also if admiring 20 photos of croissants is wrong, I don’t wanna be right:

Nicki Minaj’s New Music Video

You a stupid hoe.

David Bowie’s Wife

There are a lot of ways to end the sentence “David Bowie’s Wife _____,” but I think my favorite way is “looks great as Wonder Woman.”

 

And the only thing better than pictures of Angie Bowie in full superhero costume is her story about being too damn sexy and empowered to even get the role of Wonder Woman anyway:

First I showed them the photographs, which totally flabbergasted the director- things were going well so far- but then, before I went to my dressing room to don the stipulated turtleneck, some woman from the studio came up to me.

“I see you’re not wearing a bra,” she said. “You have to wear one for the screen test. It’s mandatory.”

I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t worn a bra for years. [...]

After that setback, one of the show’s purported writers tried to pull a “casting couch” on her. Bowie’s response to this creep? “Now take yourself out of my dressing room before I fucking kill you!”

Models Wearing Less Clothing Than Usual

I consider any photo of a girl titled “A Way To Wear Clothes And Still Be Naked” relevant to my interests.

Porcupine Video

You’re going to watch this and be all “what even IS THIS?!” The answer is video footage of an adorable and hungry porcupine stuck in a mug:

Irwin, the educational porcupine at the Animal Rescue League Wildlife Center has to work a little harder for his breakfast this morning!

Avatar of Carmen

Carmen currently serves as the Deputy Straddlerverse Editor for Autostraddle, mostly because she's in love with you crazy queers. She's mother to the most adorable dog on Earth and hates paying more than one dollar for a good slice of pizza. At times, she self-identifies as "the baddest bitch." You should follow her on Twitter and Tumblr probably because it makes her feel good about herself.

Carmen has written 510 articles for us.

46 Comments

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    I think it would be interesting if Cynthia Nixon would expand on her gay-by-choice comments. If you’re not gay to begin with, how do you make yourself gay? Why do you decide to be gay? Is it a choice you can make once and for all, or do you have to constantly maintain your gayness? In what way is it better to be gay than straight?

    I’m not questioning the legitimacy of the way she understands her sexuality. I am just genuinely intrigued, since I have no control over what bodies I’m attracted to. Sometimes I wish I did, ha.

    I have one friend whose exact line is, ‘I identify as a bisexual woman who has chosen to be a lesbian’. She explains it as partly being because she believes in political lesbianism / lesbian feminism (as opposed to being a lesbian who is also a feminist, if that makes sense)… and partly because she believes men make inferior relationship partners. I don’t agree with lesbian separatism and I have quite a different experience with relationships… some men are great, some women are douches etc. But I can follow her reasoning, even if it doesn’t resonate with me.

    Just a note – Angie Bowie divorced David Bowie along time ago, David Bowie is currently married to the heartbreakingly beautiful Iman Abdulmajid. Sorry if I’m being a nitpicky douche, but I don’t think it’s accurate to still call her David Bowie’s wife.

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      I get what Nixon is saying, that she chose to be in a relationship with a woman, but I don’t understand how she can’t see why they were upset with her wording. Attraction is not a choice. It seems her definition of sexuality has more to do with relationship choice than innate attraction.

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        Well, you’ll notice that she doesn’t say anything about attraction in that quote. I think what she’s trying to say is that innate physical attraction to the same sex is not the only way to be gay–that that’s a “litmus test” for queerness that she doesn’t buy in to. She’s saying that when we say “gay,” we should think of it as a really big term, one that includes all sorts of different people who are gay in all sorts of different ways–not just the ones who pass some test.
        I think it’s awesome, what she said. I’ve always thought that the main reason queers are so adamant that it’s not a choice is because that’s what the bigots say, and we want to bigots to be wrong. But changing the way you think about yourself and your community just to make a point to some bigots is stupid.

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          maybe you could talk more about the ways in which you think attraction could be a choice?

          I just don’t get it but would welcome the opportunity to learn :)

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          I’m not sure I didn’t train myself into bisexuality* (making myself fantasise about men during masturbation even though I had no interest in them etc), followed by my straight period where I wasn’t attracted to anyone so much as wanted to have sex and had managed to absorb from people around me that you didn’t have to be attracted to men to be straight – that gay was an active thing but straight the default. I think the straight period may have been to do with having managed to repress my same sex desire, which is weird because I found its vanishing traumatic and kept wanting it back because by then it was a part of my identity. But now I am hovering around bisexual but only find about 1% of men attractive, so maybe I was always bi but bi like this and just hadn’t found any men I found attractive yet back when I thought I was gay and trying to change it.

          *My family, while pro gray rights had also convinced me I couldn’t have a normal life or children if I was gay, which was fully supported by the enviroment where we lived in fairness to them.

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          thanks for sharing your experiences, Bhan. I think I get what you mean by ‘training’ yourself to like men, maybe like you were laying down the neural pathways to experience attraction to them through directing your fantasies during masturbation?

          I feel like we need more of this, as if voices like yours *need* to be heard so we can really understand human sexuality in all its complex glory… I don’t feel for myself like I ever choose, but I still relate to a lot of what you are saying, about actually having your own experience of your sexuality altered by external factors. Like if I am in extremely homophobic environments, I don’t feel as much sexual desire for women, it’s like my body knows it’s not safe and is afraid of where it might lead. Or like I didn’t desire men until I worked out last year I could be with one and still be a top / dominant.

          Now I am rambling. In conclusion, sexuality = weird and complicated.

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          Ok, here I go attempting to explain what goes on in my brain re:attraction.

          It’s not that I think all attraction is a choice, or that I could choose to be attracted to absolutely anyone, but I do feel like, for myself, there is an element of choice. For example, I am very rarely attracted to girls who identify as straight. From reading Autostraddle comments I definitely know that’s not the case for all queer girls, but it’s just like…it doesn’t make sense to me to be attracted to them because they’re not available to me. Same thing goes for my friends’ significant others. I wasn’t attracted to masculine-of-center girls until I got over some of my own baggage re:feminine ideals, and on some level that was a choice. There have been people that I haven’t been that attracted to but made a choice to get to know, in hopes that I would become more attracted to them. I think in the past few years I have chosen to be more attracted to girls than boys, more because of my attachment to the queer community than anything else. I think with all of these things you could argue that I’m not choosing who I’m attracted to, maybe I’m choosing what to pay attention to, or there are complicated factors controlling who I’m attracted to, and those might be valid interpretations as well.

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          hey louvella, I really liked your comment. I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying (like, once I know a girl is straight, that’s the end of things) but I hadn’t before considered it to be a ‘choice’ since I myself am not consciously determining my patterns of attraction, it happens more on a subconscious level. Which makes me think that a lot of this discussion comes down to how an individual defines ‘choice’. And yeah, I guess there are a lot of different valid ways to think of that.

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      I would also be very interested in this. Honestly, until I got to Autostraddle I thought EVERYONE was just gay, straight, bi, etc. because it’s just… the way we are? It didn’t occur to me it COULD be a choice. I was definitely born queer. My homogayness is not even remotely close to a choice, so the idea admittedly still kind of baffles me. So, like, I really want to understand and am really curious about other people and their experiences/thoughts on the subject.

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        Mmmkay, so I’ve started in on the whiskey tonight so I’m going to talk about my feeeeeliiiings. How fun!

        I totally get what Nixon’s talking about in terms of choice. It’s totally rad that some people can point to being like 5 years old or whatever and knowing unequivocally that they’re gay. Awesome! However. My experience was a little different. Yeah, I did wear cargo shorts from the boys’ section but when I was growing up, being kind of tomboyish was completely divorced from my orientation. And yeah, I can look back now and realize why I like Bend It Like Beckham so much, but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t simple.

        It was only until I was maybe 19-20 that realized why I didn’t want to suck anyone’s dick, and that my brain was suddenly realized that it was ok to ID as a lesbian, that I didn’t anyone’s permission or pass a test. I’ve never had sex with a dude or a lady, so maybe it’s still all so hypothetical. I don’t think that there’s a little switch in my brain or something in my biology that I can point to . . . maybe it is testosterone in the womb or cultural factors or whatever. But having makeouts and casual sex and falling in love with a lady is something that I want. For so long I was afraid that labeling myself as something other than heterosexual could somehow end up being wrong, that I would make the wrong choice. Bisexual or pansexual doesn’t fit, queer is pretty accurate and I call myself a gay woman. I may want to climb Benedict Cumberbatch’s body like a jungle gym, but in real life? I’m a lady who wants to with other ladies, because I think they’re cool and sexy and smart and terrifying.

        So, yeah.

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          “Yeah, I did wear cargo shorts from the boys’ section but when I was growing up, being kind of tomboyish was completely divorced from my orientation.”

          Yeah, I mean gender expression does not = sexual orientation. I get fed up with how often I hear people saying that little kids are going to grow up to be gay because of what they’re wearing/playing with, or that you could totally tell they were going to be gay because when they were a kid they played with trucks and wore jeans. I did all of that and it was unrelated to me suddenly discovering I wanted to touch breasts at puberty.

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          “I may want to climb Benedict Cumberbatch’s body like a jungle gym, but in real life? I’m a lady who wants to with other ladies, because I think they’re cool and sexy and smart and terrifying.”

          That was awesome. Just saying.

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        I can definitely understand how someone could “choose” to be gay, though I think that simplifies the concept quite a bit. I never chose to be attracted to both guys and girls, but someday if I really wanted I could probably decide I wanted to be only gay or straight and it wouldn’t feel like I was going against who I am as a person. My sexuality can be incredibly fluid and I’ve had months where I’ve felt almost entirely straight at the beginning of the month and almost entirely lesbian at the end, with no obvious reasons for my interests to have shifted so dramatically.

        My sexuality stays mostly consistent if I’m in a serious relationship, at which point I’m mostly only attracted to people of the same gender as my partner. It’s not a matter of consciously choosing to be attracted only to that gender, it just happens. Right now I’m dating a guy, and I feel straight enough right now that calling myself “bi” definitely feels false, and even the vagueness “queer” doesn’t feel quite right; I definitely feel straight most of the time. The opposite would be true if I was with a girl, and I’d probably identify as a lesbian. Presumably I could choose at some point to only date women, which would impact my sexuality and who i was attracted to to the point where it would be fair to say I had chosen to be gay.

        Or at least that’s true if this pattern holds, which it probably won’t, because my sexuality likes to make me think I have it all figured out and then it changes, just to mess with my head. It’s really quite annoying.

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      To add to what everyone else has said, a different angle: I have no interest in The Truth of gayness (that is, scientific-type questions: where it comes from, what its limits are, etc), not least because this thing we call “choice” is poorly understood and insanely complicated. Instead, I’m interested in the way people talk about their gayness.

      So, in the full interview, Nixon says, “It seems we’re just ceding this point to bigots who are demanding it, and I don’t think that they should define the terms of the debate.”

      The heterosexist folk say, “Why would you choose this awful thing?”
      And we come back with, “Well… I didn’t… I didn’t CHOOSE it, so….”

      That repsonse tacitly agrees that, yes, being gay is undesirable. And that’s fine. If we’re being honest, being queer can be seriously undesirable for some people. Say, for example, my parents were bigots and they kicked me out for being a dyke and I had to live on the street. The queerness itself isn’t bad, but the social consequences clearly are.

      My experience has been very different, though. My parents didn’t kick me out and I’ve had no serious issues related to my queerhood. I’m in a position where it makes more sense to say, “You know what? I like being gay. I like being gay more than I like being straight. So, um, that’s why I wear this flannel and spoon with ladies and read AS.” I’m not sure how much of a say I had in constructing my desires, and I don’t really care. The salient point for me is that, however we got here (“it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here”), queerness IS pleasurable for us, just the way that traditional heterolove and gender roles are pleasurable for the folks who practice them.

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        I am too far into the porcupine video to stop watching the porcupine video and now I’m like “Why am I still watching this porcupine video?” Then I finished watching the porcupine video, which was followed by a profound silence in my head, and now I’m going to watch it again on youtube and watch related videos.
        I bet there will be videos of other animals trying to get food out of silly places. I look forward to this. I hope there is one with a bear.

        I also thought I would comment about Cynthia Nixons comments on sexuality being a choice, but it is too complicated and the porcupine has wiped my brain of intelligent thought. STUPID HOE.

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    Oh Carmen-Sunday-Funday. This post has single-handedly made my day. It has all the ingredients my life needs to make it totally hardcore and badass: exquisite photography, trampoline-mosh-mash-ups that appeal to my inner child, and architectural cheese sandwiches to top it all off.

    Perfect. And it even made me forget I came onto AS to see if the NSFW Sunday post had been posted. I don’t even need that now, I just want to put very loud music on and jump around my room pretending I’m 8 and have long hair.

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    if Nicki Minaj is our best example of a strong successful female pop star, I am disappointed.

    I don’t understand why she is so celebrated by Autostraddle. The message she sends out seems like the opposite of the feminist/sex and body-positive ideals that this website lives by.

    “I piss on bitches” “you a stupid hoe” why does she (and others like her) feel they need to be misogynist in order to be successful? Instead of working to change the culture from the inside, she has embraced the negative aspects of the culture in order to sell records.

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      i will always feel obligated to participate in feminist analysis of nicki minaj.

      i have written academically about nicki minaj’s contributions to sex positivity, feminism, and all-around women’s empowerment.

      i think it’s unfair to pull random lines from nicki minaj songs without the full context of her work, of many of her sound bites, of some very strong and concrete examples of her speaking out about women’s empowerment. nicki minaj probably wouldn’t call herself a feminist icon but that doesn’t make her a misogynist.

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        I agree, and if the inclusion of her video included a little more explanation than the line “you a stupid hoe” in front of it, I would probably not have such a problem with it.
        I would love to read an essay on Autostraddle on her contributions to the things you listed.

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        But those “random lines” occur a lot. Sometimes, it is the whole context of the song. Did we not just see the video titled “Stupid hoe” where she chants “you a stupid hoe” for the entire duration of the video? You can have your own opinions but I for one dislike her behavior.

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    O’Keeffe’s sandwich should have been a tuna sandwich, just sayin’. Oh, and imagine what Banksy’s piece would be like – probably grilled cheese sandwich with a burnt image of Jesus on top!

    And poor Irwin and his food in a mug – reminds me of when I’m Algebra. *sob*

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    Ok, I’ll just copy and paste it here ’cause it couldn’t have been said better;

    “I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.”

    AGAIN!!

    I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.

    LOVE IT!

    And LOVE that Mondrian Sandwich!!

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    Oh wow those photographs are so amazing! I wish I could say something smart about them but I’m speechless.

    The Mondrian sandwich cracked me up, love the Rothko one too. And I can’t decide which is cuter between Juliet and the porcupine.

    Aung San Suu Kyi’s interview looks really interesting too, too tired now but will read it tomorrow. She’s an amazing woman, thanks for the link!

    All in all this has to be the best Sunday Funday I’ve read yet, every single thing in this article was awesome – except the Nicki Minaj video, I tried to watch it but both the sounds and visuals made me feel like I was going to have an epilepsy crisis and I’m not even epileptic.

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    This whole is it a choice or not thing…even if it is a choice, we should be allowed to choose to love someone who is also any form of consenting adult. Period. Who cares how we came to love as long as we love yes? Also, yay artistic sandwiches, I wanna go make myself a sandwich is comic book style now…

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    I think I have come to a point where I can say: I do not care.

    Choice or no choice it is your life and dammit you all deserve to be happy, beautiful and free. I love you all.

    :D

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    Re: Choosing to be gay

    It’s like… even if it isn’t genetically-determined, that doesn’t make it a choice. A major part of our identities are just a reflection of our experiences, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. I know the “born this way” campaign is well-intentioned, but it doesn’t seem like a moral dilemma to me. We just don’t have the resources to determine whether or not people are born gay. And it shouldn’t matter, right?
    It’s natural. The End.

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    Homosexuality was never a choice to me. My experience was that I never had a choice. Being gay has always been a deeply ingrained part of my identity ever since I was child. (whether I knew it or not) It was not something I could just will away or flip back and forth between with enough rationalizing. So, I don’t think what Cythia Nixon is saying is accurate, unless there are others out there that can support that they chose their sexuality as well. However I do get what she’s trying say in that we should stop focusing on if we chose to be gay or not, but that we deserve rights regardless.

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    Kind of late but this was a really good article. So, for me I could say I knew I was gay from a young age but I hate saying “it wasn’t a choice” because I feel like by saying it wasn’t a choice I am implying I was forced to be this way. I just want to be me. For me to be me and not care what society may or may not think about me is a choice. It’s my choice to be me. I’m commenting more on the way it sounds to say “it wasn’t a choice” because something about it makes me feel less empowered. Anyways, this probably seems really reptitive but I just wanted to try and put my view on the subject out there. Due to what I feel, I don’t think Cynthia Nixon is wrong in what she is saying about her own sexuality.

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