Also. Also. Also: Additional Stories Relevant To Your Interests, Like This New Gay Sitcom

um, so this is "the new normal"

NBC has picked up Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal: “The New Normal, from Murphy and Glee scribe Ali Adler, revolves around a blended family of a gay couple (Andrew RannellsJustin Bartha) and the woman (Georgia King) who becomes a surrogate for them as they grow their family. Ellen Barkin co-stars, with NeNe Leakes on board as recurring.” This is photographic evidence of this concept:

An Inside Look at the Surprisingly Violent Quidditch World Cup: The Quidditch World Cup sounds dorky, and make no mistake: it is. But these sorcery-loving Harry Potter fans play pretty rough, as Eric Hansen found out when he captained a bad-news team of ex-athletes, ultimate Frisbee studs, slobs, drunks, and some people he knows from Iceland. Brooms up, and may the best Muggles win.”

Life’s Work: Christiane Amanpour: An interview with the famous lady news anchor and war correspondent.

Jezebel explains how President Obama is okay with gay marriage as long as it doesn’t try to flirt with him and over at Queerty, the Will & Grace creator whose show was given a shout-out by Joe Biden expresses his extreme discomfort with Obama’s position (or lack thereof) on the same-sex marriage issue and at Feministing, Lori asks What Would Happen of Obama Supported Gay Marriage?

Right wingers hate gays and abortions because they have Norman Bates levels of repressed sexual pathos.”

The Discovery Channel series Cold Blood covered “the horrific 1995 attack that left Brooklyn lesbian Sylvia Lugo dead and her girlfriend of three years, Amanda Leach, raped and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the leg.”

10 Diverse Web Shows to Solve HBO’s Girls Problem: “In the spirit of shifting blame back on the industry and being constructive, I’ve decided to link to some web shows mainstream TV critics might not know about because there are so many.” Also, at NPR, Lena Dunham responds to the criticism.

The Guardian has the places in the U.S. With the Most Gay Rights, comes with a beautiful interactive chart situation.

Another edition of the UP! documentary series debuts, which I consumed in one week while on holiday in Australia and highly recommend.

So, Mitt Romney seems bored.

John Irving‘s next book will feature two transgender characters and a bisexual narrator. What a nice straight white man.

12 Crimes That Changed the LGBT World.

Downton Abbey is the Edwardian Battlestar Galactica: Discuss.

In Indiana, a bullied gay teenager took a stun-gun to school for protection against violent bullies and he now faces possible expulsion.

E.L James and 50 Shades of Gray Come to Long Island: In which RKB attends an $85 luncheon for the author’s books and had quite a time.

Trayvon Martin: killed by a stereotype.

Look it’s a person who likes talking on the phone — really likes it — and wants to talk about why nobody else likes it anymore.

Another gross decision from the reliable people over at Newsweek: “I just want to point out the assumption that the baby is female and the pointed note that “she” is a “blue-eyed angel,” in order that we may be extra worried about the possibility that she will grow up to be a fat white lady who fails to fulfill her primary purpose as privileged sex object for straight men.”

In Nebraska and New York, anti-discrimination protections for transgender people are being considered. What a novel idea!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3178 articles for us.


  1. The new normal, as in “Ryan Murphy is explicit about his preferred role for women.”

    • OMG, really. Two big articles in recent Australian gay mags about surrogacy just about managed to spit out the word ‘woman’ when referring to the incubators, but mostly preferred ‘the surrogate’ as a term. The language around this stuff is verry interesting. Oh, and stand by for plenty of ‘ewww, vagina!’ moments, too. It’ll be a riot.

  2. I’m so sick of the criticism that there is a lack of ethnic diversity on Girls. This is a problem that should be directed towards the network or the industry in general. As Dunham says, the show is based on her own experiences, and revolves around a very small group of friends. I don’t think it’s exclusionary to be honest to your experiences and it shows more integrity than including a token non-white character or token gay character to appease the masses.

    I’ve had groups of friends where I was the only Caucasian, and I’ve had groups of friends where we were all Caucasian. To steal form the show, “a voice of a generation” should be able to speak to their experiences rather than fake something for the sake of being p.c.

    • It’s nice to know that you have no problems with “a voice of a generation” representing a bizarrely ALL WHITE generation. Honestly, so many of my issues with her stem from this “voice of a generation” shit– stop pretending you speak to my life.

      • The point is that it’s “a voice,” meaning an entirely singular experience. If the statement was an all-encompassing, “the voice of a generation,” I could agree with the complaints. I’m partly to blame for including that line, but I also think marketing ran with it as a way to describe the show. In context, it was a drug-induced, self-serving comedic line to trick the character’s parents into giving her more money. I think the show speaks to some people and doesn’t to others, just like any other show out there. I don’t know why it’s getting picked apart as opposed to the industry.

        • When something “speaks to some people and doesn’t to others”, it generally means that it does not speak for an entire generation. Just “some” of it.

          • Again: “I’m partly to blame for including that line, but I also think marketing ran with it as a way to describe the show. In context, it was a drug-induced, self-serving comedic line to trick the character’s parents into giving her more money. ”

            The line was a joke, not a manifesto for the show. But, if we’re talking semantics, “a voice” means one singular voice among a generation. “The voice” would be representative of the whole.

    • If you want to write your memoirs or a blog all about your quirky white “experiences”, by all means, go right ahead. But when you’re producing a television show (especially if you decide to set it in NYC and its selling point is hyper-realism, cutting edge, contemporary depiction of today’s 20-somethings) you have a responsibility towards equitable representation. And do you really think the only reason POC are included on television shows is to be “politically correct”? Like that’s why people are mad? Because the PC requirements weren’t met? Or could it be because systemic whitewashing is STILL an issue today, in 2012?

      I think it moves beyond POC representation, as well. We’re about 5 episodes in and we’re among friends in NYC and we’ve yet to see a queer character?

      • “And do you really think the only reason POC are included on television shows is to be “politically correct”? Like that’s why people are mad? Because the PC requirements weren’t met? Or could it be because systemic whitewashing is STILL an issue today, in 2012? ”

        This this this!

        Every time I hear some says inclusion of POC is to be PC I’m like “fuck you.”

        • Again, I was responding to this very specific show. Of course POC are not and should not be represented on television to be p.c. So far the show has only featured a very small social circle where everyone happens to be wasps or Jewish. As a queer person, I don’t see myself misrepresented because one person that the story’s based on does not have a queer friend in their tiny social circle.

          • “Of course POC are not and should not be represented on television to be p.c.”

            *For the sole purpose of being p.c., rather than say, accurately representing demographics.

    • Girls isn’t above criticism just because it’s not the only show that lacks diversity. It’s a show in a long line of shows over the years that represented NYC as predominately white. Do you really think this is the first time people have complained about this type of thing? No, we talk about this damn near every time it happens and should continue to do so. Nothing changes by keeping quiet. And these defenders of Girls really need to quit acting like POC’s stories have nothing to offer except to fulfill some quota. If that’s what people think we are complaining about then they are missing the point by a wide margin and will continue to get it for years to come.

      Yes, the industry as a whole should be criticized but since Dunham is now apart of that industry(especially considering she is the creator, writer and star of her show) and practicing the exact same thing then she could expect to receive some of that criticism as well.

    • I’m kind of conflicted about Girls. I think the show is fucking brilliant and honest, and it’s the first thing I’ve been able to relate to on television probably since As Told By Ginger when I was like 12 (that show did have diversity, by the way, and was also fucking brilliant and honest.) She is speaking to her experience, and I think that’s great for now because she’s just started her career as a writer. But I do hope she takes the criticism in and grows with it (which I think she will) to include some more diversity next season.

  3. I love the Tor article about BSG and Downton, way to talk about two of my favorite things

  4. The Guardian’s chart perfectly highlights why I am moving from Michigan to Washington in August.

  5. The first TV I remember watching was Christiane Amanpour reporting on CNN. I was kind of a nerdy kid.

  6. I’m really not interested in any more shows about queers for which the price of admission for our appearing at all is that we just want to have babies and get married.

    • I agree but at the same time I think the reason why we see so many queer people on tv wanting to be parents is to drive into straight people heads that we are not different. For American society the ultimate act of being human or self-actualization is to have children. When I think about it, I rarely see tv talk about heterosexual child-free couples. Child-less heterosexual couples are waiting for children or have adoption story lines.

      Then again I remember seeing a child-free couple on one random tv show ages ago but they were painted has “selfish” and “indulgent”. Like if you don’t want to have kids people are like, “OMFG WHY NOT CHILDREN ARE SPECIAL!!!” I think this idea also transfers to queer people to replicate ideal heterosexual bliss (assimilation) on tv to “normalize” queer people.

      What do you think?

      • I more or less agree. I definitely agree to being tired of the only huge image of queer folks on television is “white men who want to get married and have babies.” It is getting old, WAY old. Queer people are bisexual, pansexual, black, disabled, Asian, womyn, anything you can imagine, first of all. Secondly, not everyone wants to get married and have kids, some of us are poly, some of us are genderqueer. I have no problem with the white gay daddies tryna get married image, but we need have more than just that small little niche representing us.

        That story speaks nothing to me.

  7. “the coming generation of Americans could even have shorter lifespans than the previous one” – sounds like a pretty good situation for the planet to me.

      • I liked it too, at first. He should only be allowed to do two seasons of a show, max. Stop him after that, contractually if needed.

  8. Hey Riese when’s Kate M.’s new showtime series
    Starting? Keep us in that loop please. I don’t have
    Showtime, so hoping you will report.

  9. I’d really rather not watch The New Normal, but Georgia King is just too cute. Ugh.

  10. Did anyone else see the pic promo of “New Normal” and then get disappointed when you realized it wasn’t about pregnant transmen?

    • …I thought the opposite. I had a sigh of relief. Disclaimer: I am cis and represent only my own incomplete opinions based on feelings, conversations with friends who are trans* and things I read on the internet… but I think this matters. Media represention of trans* people can tend to lean in the direction of sideshow sensationalism especially around the topic of transmen who choose to carry children. Like… remember Max and that shitshow of trans* inclusion? And IRL earlier this year The Sun launched a manhunt and even offered a reward for the identity of a transman who had given birth in the UK. Ew, exploitative. I think inclusion should come from a place of respect, rather than media’s bad habit of catering to the intrusive and anomalizing interests of the majority at the expense of the dignity, privacy and truth of real people’s lives, y’know? Don’t fall into the media’s trap! Hope for and support major news coverage of the serious issues affecting the trans* community and trans*characters in TV and movies who are represented accurately/positively/with respect. RESPECT RESPECT RESPECT!

  11. I’m so proud to have been born and raised in the Northeast. Being a gay woman of color, though the world isn’t perfect, it’s damn good from where I’m sitting. I hope my fellow sisters in color AND queerness can one day live as free as privileged I.

  12. Wow, I knew Michigan was lousy on LGBT rights but according to that chart it’s one of the worst states in the country in that regard. Why is that? I know from growing up there that there’s a huge difference politically between the Detroit/Ann Arbor area and the rest of the state (especially Western Michigan) but why does the latter always seem to prevail when it comes to social issues (since Michigan also gets an F from NARAL on its reproductive rights situation)?

    Anyway, I guess I should be glad I got out before I came out.

  13. That chart just makes me super sad about Texas. I mean, it’s nothing new but I just really like graphs and it’s making me reeeeeally not like that one.

  14. Based on that chart, I just moved from one of the worst states to one of the second-worst states. Guess I’m moving up in the world?

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