Pop Culture Fix: Mindy Kaling’s New Lesbian Comedy Will Combat Queer Heartland Invisibility and Other Stories

Welcome to the pop culture fix, your weekly round-up of news stories so important that the world could very well change by the time you finish reading this post. Literally almost everything is possible at this point.

+ Ed Weeks and Mindy Kaling have teamed up to write a comedy about a lesbian couple in Kansas: “The untitled single-camera comedy centers on liberal lesbian couple Laurel and Marisa who move with their teenage son to Laurel’s conservative hometown in Kansas to find that their assumptions about Middle America might just be wrong.” If they don’t title it “Surrender Dorothy” then I’m gonna through a fit in the candy aisle.

+ Ellen DeGeneres is on the cover of OUT Magazine’s OUT 100 issue. She talks about her career, being nice, and coming out in 1997:

Before this show, I had a lot of insecurity,” DeGeneres says. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to work again, and although I was out, I was still trying to alter myself — not dressing the way I wanted to dress or wearing my hair the way I wanted to. I slowly gained the confidence to be authentic, and what I’ve learned about other people is that they strive to be authentic, too. So whether they fully support me, love my lifestyle, or love that I’m married to a woman, I think they like that authenticity, and they’re drawn to it.”

+ Samantha Fox, who I wrote a singificant number of words about in 2009, says coming out in 2003 was very scary: “For a long time I was a bit scared, because I did feel maybe—I’ve got of male fans, but since being a singer, I’ve got a lot of female fans, too—but I was scared that I may lose that fanbase.”

+ Maybe you didn’t have a TON of stuff in common with your ex-girlfriend but you do have one thing in common with your next girlfriend, Anna Kendrick: you both want a lesbian love scene in Pitch Perfect 3. I hope she’s also on board with making Pitch Perfect 3 not a racist trash pile like Pitch perfect 2! Also by the way all of Anna Kendrick’s friends are gay.


+ Watermelon Woman to Moonlight: Twenty Years of Black LGBTQ Indie Films

+ Shay Mitchell has released an emotional “Farewell Love Letter” to Pretty Little Liars, which she recorded after the series wrapped filming its final scene.

+ Superqueero Roundup: Canonically Queer

+ “Becoming More Visible,” a documentary about four trans teens in New York coming into their own, premieres in NYC on November 11th.

+ Beth Ditto’s second collection is a vibrant assault on the senses

+ Love & Hip Hop Deserves More Respect for How It Portrays Queer Sexuality

+ The best celebrity halloween costumes of 2016

+ Chef Renee Blackman is Bringing LGBT Visibility to Chopped.

+ Raven-Symone is leaving The View to work on developing a That’s So Ravel spin-off.

+ Don’t Call Me Son Combines a Queer, Trans Family Drama

+ Our Favorite Gender-Minority Stories in TV and Literature

+ Lindsay Lohan is debuting a new accent. Yup.

+ Stoked for Leah Remini’s “Scientology And The Aftermath” documentary

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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 3202 articles for us.



    And was happily married! And has been out since 2003! Why did I not know this?

  2. Thank you for the piece on LiLo and her new accent. I’ve been trying all day to find people who care about this.

    • Haha. I’m glad I don’t live in the public eye. I’m like a chameleon when it comes to forming sounds. And I do have a facility for languages, but I can’t “affect” an accent on purpose for the life of me like my mom or a couple siblings can. I have a friend who worked at a grocery store in high school, and to amuse herself she’d sometimes adopt an accent for a day (usually upper-crust English or Southern US).

      After working in northern Louisiana for a month I spoke with a noticeable southern accent (it faded within a day when I returned to Washington State). Or I once spent just like three hours hanging out with a friend who had lived in Scotland for a year and pronounced many of her vowels non-American, even though she’d been back in the US for a month. It was a weird mix of sounds. And by the end of the evening I was tripping over my words because part of my brain and mouth kept trying to skew my vowels the same way, and the other part of my brain kept thinking the equivalent of “WTF! How do you speech?”

          • he sounded so made up i can’t even tell you, he was in a band and everything, but he was super real, super 10-hour greyhound bus going-through-customs-in-the-middle-of-the-night real.

            also if you click through that article brabkeb, there’s an interview with her from LAST MONTH wehre she didn’t talk like that at all. her entire syntax is different!

        • Whoa. That is just too strange about Turkey.

          Hasn’t Lohan been living overseas for a number of years? I’d just expect a “weird” accent. Kind of like people make fun of Madonna for: not English, but not American.

          • I did watch the other video, and I felt like there wasn’t much difference. I mean, she was speaking much more quietly (in the one I watched), and at a different cadence. I liken it in my mind to when people sing: sometimes I can tell they have an “accent” (compared to my native accent), and sometimes I can’t. I just didn’t see anything in the video to say she was totally different like everyone said??? I’m not trying to be argumentative or contrary. This is fascinating!

  3. Anna Kendrick is at the top of my list of girls I’m always going to be confused about: do I want to be her? Do I want to be with her? Or do I want to be her bff and just chill in our hoodies all day long getting high and ordering a ton of take out food? Guess I’ll never know.

  4. Okay, so I wasn’t the only one who thought Pitch Perfect 2 was a Pitch Perfect piece of shit. And they’re making a 3, the term “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” springs to mind for just this occasion.

    If Mindy’s show doesn’t take off, I doubt it will have to do with the premise and more that Mindy and Co. are only funny in small spurts.

    And excuse me Dear Autostraddle but where is the Black Mirror-San Junipero that was promised weeks ago? I can only assume that all the writers are fighting over recapping it because it was such a wonderful and complex story but I am ready to spill my own guts on it.

    • It’s going to be in next week’s boobs on your tube. Heather mentioned it right at the top of this week’s, saying they’re still putting it together beecause they’re trying to make sure that people from the intersecting identities get to talk about a show that represents them.

      • Oh, I thought she said it was going to be its own thing since it had so much going on not just a blurb in BOYT.

  5. I am excited about the idea of a show about lesbians set in Kansas. I just hope it’s less racist than The Mindy Project.

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