Pop Culture Fix: Girls Like Girls Like Ellen DeGeneres, Tig Notaro and Lethal Lesbian Vampires

Hello, Hot Wheels! Welcome to your weekly Pop Culture News Fix!

Pop Goes the Marriage Equality Culture


+ It turns out that Ellen DeGeneres did more to influence Americans’ attitudes about gay rights than any other celebrity or public figure. I’ve been a fan of Ellen since Day One and her journey is one of many that just blows my mind.

+ Variety magazine’s Marriage Equality issue features a photo spread of LGBT Hollywood families, including legendary power lesbian Kelly Bush, the PR whiz who has helped clients including Cynthia Nixon and Ellen Page come out.


+ The Vampire Diaries, a show I have never seen, will debut a LETHAL LESBIAN for Season Seven, according to casting notices picked up by TV Line:

First up are Nora and Mary Louise, a dangerous duo of down-low lovers with murderous tendencies. The vampires, both turned in their mid-20s, have kept their relationship a secret for more than a century, and although their connection is clear to those able to infiltrate their inner circle, Mary Louise’s constant doting can sometimes feel a bit smothery for fiery Nora’s liking. Still, anyone foolish enough to cross either of them will feel both their wraths.

Scream, a new show with a queer character played by Bex Taylor-Klaus, debuted last night. Gawker says that it was really awful, noting that “Aside from the motormouth genius (the show’s de facto narrator) and the lesbian, the characters are indistinct, poorly acted, and their lines are mumbled at least half the time.” AfterEllen talked to Bex all about it:

AE: You have played a lot of LGBT characters—how is this one different for you?

BTK: I’ve had the opportunity to play lesbian and gender-queer in the past, and those characters have been secure in who they were. Audrey is still finding her way, figuring out who she is and who she loves. It’s great being able to dive into that. I want questioning or bi curious kids to also see good representation in the media and know that it’s perfectly okay to not be sure who or what you are yet. It’s okay to be working it out.

+ It’s time for a LESBIAN Peppa Pig: “More gay characters are needed on children’s television to send out the message same sex relationships are of ‘equal value’ to any other, Lib Dem leadership contender Norman Lamb has said.”

+ Our Lady J says “More (entertainment) executives need to put stories into the hands of trans people.”

+ Variety says “Premium Cable Lead the Charge For Realistic Gay Characters.

Amber Rose and Blac Chyna Kissed at the BET Awards to “Celebrate Marriage Equality”. Any excuse to kiss a girl, amirite? By the way, The BET Awards were hella gay.

+ Hey look, it’s the trailer for Tig Notaro‘s new Netflix documentary! It looks amazing, obviously:

The Cinema Show

+ BREATHE is a movie that you probably will wish was a lesbian movie but will like regardless:

Based on Anne-Sophie Brasme’s 2004 novel, Breathe has been oft-compared to Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color, though it’s not about two teen French girls who fall in love, per se, but rather about two teen French girls who develop an intense, volatile, and eventually abusive friendship.

THEY’RE MAKING A SEQUEL TO WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, which is one of my top five favorite movies of all time. Even though whenever I tell people that, they tell me that I am a “sick puppy.” I have seen it 10,000 times. However, I’m a bit confused about why (out actress) Heather Matarazzo isn’t playing the grown-up version of Heather Matarazzo’s character? Also where the hell is Brendan Sexton III (aka Warren)? So, here’s the scoop:

Independent stalwart Todd Solondz has started shooting “Weiner-Dog,” starring Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Brie Larson, Ellen Burstyn, Zosia Mamet and Tracy Letts.

The film is a follow-up to Solondz’s 1996 drama “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” in which the main character, Dawn Wiener — played by Heather Matarazzo — was teased with the nickname “Wiener Dog.” The castings of Gerwig, who will be playing the adult version of Dawn Weiner, and Delpy had been previously announced.

+ “Freeheld,” the story of a lesbian couple fighting to keep their pension benefits after one falls terminally ill, stars Ellen Page and Julienne Moore and is apparently “struggling to be commercial.” Ellen Page told Variety that “There’s this awful bias that women can’t carry films, which is being proven not true. Hopefully that will start to change.”

Female-Driven Movies make more money because women are better than everybody else all the time Amen.

+ The producer of The Hunger Games says we need more than a gay superhero: “The reality is that diversity as an overall subject has to continue to be addressed onscreen. That goes beyond having a gay superhero. There should be a black superhero, a Latino superhero and, while we’re at it, we still aren’t seeing nearly enough women behind the scenes and as the anchors of movies. ”


+ Is the music industry purging its record of homophobia? “Even genres driven by displays of outsized masculinity — heavy metal and hip-hop — have largely purged homophobia. Metal had a crisis of conscience after the coming-out of Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, while rappers like Kanye West and Drake have worked to forge a more enlightened image for hip-hop.”

+ Trans Indie Rocker Isley Reust talks about her new album with her all-female band Spectacular Spectacular and her recovery from addiction.

Misty Copeland is the First Black Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre!

+ Here, it’s a music video from Hayley Kiyoko called “Girls Like Girls” and it’s about girls who fall for each other. You know, in a GAY WAY. It’s also weird but also very cute.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com 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 3150 articles for us.


  1. I really don’t have much interest in seeing a Welcome to the Dollhouse sequel that features none of the original cast. Why do that?

    • yeah i am super confused about what the idea behind it is — and like, if it’s about a grown-up Dawn Weiner than why would you need a new actress to play her?

  2. That Girls like Girls song popped up in my pandora and I as like wow this is definitely gay, how did this get here? That video is super unexpectedly weird though!! Maybe not in a bad way but it didn’t exactly fit the vibes I was getting from the song?? Thanks for sharing though!

    • It helps if your first introduction to the song was seeing the video- otherwise, yeah, I can imagine it being a bit dissonant.

  3. I want a movie version of the Girls Like Girls video. I would watch the heck outta that.

  4. Hail Ellen!
    She is my dream Autostraddle interview. Shonda Rhimes comes in second place.

    • Ok but Ellen brightens my day, everyone’s day. Whereas, Shonda, she CRUSHES SOULS BENEATH HER FEET WITH NO PITY.

  5. That Tig Notaro documentary! I need to watch this, although it is not going to be easy since my boss/colleague/friend has only been in remission for about 4-5 months now.

  6. I actually squealed aloud at The Vampire Diaries news. Finally after 6 seasons a reason to be slightly less embarrassed about my still-lingering vampire obsession!!!

    (also the comments on that TV Line article are beautiful. People sure are angry about the Gay Mafia!)

    • I wish I shared your faith in the writers… The GF and I hate-watch the show and I expect nothing but the worst from them. When they killed Luke last season I was not the least bit surprised; sure, kill off the only gay character in the history of the show, no one will care.
      But anyways, I’ll be watching and probably rolling my eyes until they fall out of my head. It’s good to know a fellow straddler watches the show. :)

  7. The lead singer of Judas Priest is gay??? HOW HAS THIS NEVER REACHED MY BRAIN BEFORE???

    • It makes sense after you remember what Rob user to wear in the 70’s with Priest and then what he wore in the 80’s with them. Plus, the song helbent for leather. Fun fact, some of his outfits on stage were gay BDSM wear he got at underground clubs in the UK.
      What’s amazing is when he came out, I am told all their fans were cool with it, minus the outfit for obvious reasons.

  8. That Girls Like Girls video reminds me an awful lot of the Silversun Pickups – Dots and Dashes video. I like this one more though.

  9. I came here just to see if you’d written about Girls Like Girls yet and the first thing I saw was the screencap as the front page image so, yay!

  10. Oh. My. God.
    Girls Like Girls is the most excited I’ve been about a music video in a long time. How is it weird though? All I see is perfection. And thanks for that!

    • honestly i am somehow hung up on the scene where they blow cigarette smoke into each other’s faces! I mean, pot smoke i get, but cigarette smoke? I don’t know what’s wrong with me that i can’t move past this situation

  11. Another note on the Girls Like Girls video! Both of the girls in the video have been in prominent roles in Disney shows. Kelsey Chow played Mikayla in Pair of Kings and Stefanie Scott was in A.N.T. Farm. I find it pretty cool that Disney stars are able to be in a video like this without any backlash (from what I can tell).

  12. I watched Respire (Breathe) last night, thanks for the recommendation! I really enjoyed it. For other French speakers, it’s streaming online for free right now (without any subtitles)

  13. The Tig Notaro documentary is really great! She came for the film festival screenings & I was amazed I could even get in. Like, what is wrong with people. That business should have sold out.

  14. Re: the gay superhero thing, I urge everyone to check out Perry Moore’s YA novel Hero! The protagonist is gay. And a superhero. And it’s a great book; I actually just reread it yesterday.

  15. What’s weirdest about the video to me is that they end with killing (or at least seriously bashing) the boyfriend. My theory is that he’s an abuser and a drunk — see 2:35, his perpetual beer, and his final tirade — and she wasn’t sure how/if she could leave.

    It’s also admittedly weird that they’re just staying in this nice house indefinitely. Is it his house??

    I agree with Riese and that scene would have been 300x better and more believable if they had been smoking a joint.

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  17. Everything with that Girls Like Girls music video is spot on! The doucheness of the male teenager, teenage drinking, coming of age, ambiguous friendship…

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