Pop Culture Fix: Wow, That Sue Bird / Megan Rapinoe Gold Medal Kiss Made Straight People Go Berserk

Howdy, howdy, howdy — here’s your Monday Pop Culture Fix!


+ On Saturday night, right after Team USA won another gold medal in women’s basketball, Sue Bird kissed Megan Rapinoe on the sidelines, and our traffic went THROUGH THE ROOF.

Sue Bird #6 of Team United States kisses Megan Rapinoe in celebration after the United States' win over Japan in the Women's Basketball final game on day sixteen of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games at Saitama Super Arena on August 08, 2021

Riese thought we were under attack. It was our biggest sudden traffic spike since we started tracking real-time traffic in 2018. We got over ten thousand views in ten minutes at midnight on a Saturday, which is usually the slowest hour of the week. Luckily it was just straight people frantically Googling what they did not know and landing on Autostraddle dot com.

Autostraddle Slack screenshot in which Riese says: you guys what is happening on chartbeat right now / this olympics basketball article / we have 1300 concurrents

I would be remiss not to also mention that four of the five starters on Team USA — Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, and Sue Bird — are gay, gay, gay, and so is their often-times six man, Chelsea Gray. And so is 3 x 3 gold medal winner Stefanie Dolson. So! 🏀🌈

+ How Gossip Girl broke the fantasy of being the world’s most special girl.

+ I am so torn between being constantly annoyed at everything Ryan Murphy touches and also really wanting to watch American Crime Story: Impeachment. Here’s the first teaser Beanie Feldstein is doing nothing to quell my curiosity.

+ And also here’s the trailer for Diary of a Future President season two!

+ If everything’s a little bit gay, what happens to queer film and TV?

+ Dominic Fike, Minka Kelly, and Demetrius ‘Lil Meech’ Flenory Jr are joining the cast of Euphoria.

+ Jennifer Beals talked to EW about Bette’s season two love journey on Generation Q.

+ This NYT profile of Ashley Nicole Black is an excellent read to kick off your week.

+ Margot Robbie opens up about bisexual anti-hero Harley Quinn — and Leslie Grace’s casting as Batgirl — in new interview.

+ Also: Margot Robbie really did that foot escape in Suicide Squad 2.

+ Why is The Owl House so far ahead of the rest of Disney when it comes to queer representation?

+ Lesley Goldberg and Daniel Fienberg’s THR “TV’s Top 5” podcast features Gen Q showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan this week.

+ The trailer for Ashley Benson’s new noir thriller is — sadly, and unlike Ashley Benson — very straight.

+ Jes Macallan on her directorial debut in last night’s “wackadoo” Legends of Tomorrow.

+ Ellen’s goodbyes begin next month.

+ Elliot Page will be honored at OutFest with the LGBTQ film festival’s annual Achievement Award.

+ The trailer for FX/Hulu’s Y: The Last Man trailer is here and I am so nervous about this show after reading the kiiiinda problematic comic books.


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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1246 articles for us.

24 Comments

  1. Y The Last Man pissed me off as a teen because of how the cishet male writer wrote about trans people, lesbians/queer people in general, and feminists. I feel like there’s so much uphill work with making series palatable to the 2020 world, why even bother? I know that Charlie Jane Anders was added to the writer’s room in 2019 so that makes me take pause… Although I just looked this up to confirm and there’s been no update about that/nothing posted on her social media so lol nevermind.

    On the other hand, Agent 355 and Dr. Allison look hot.

  2. Somewhat related to the rapinoe/bird traffic…I was similarly confused when an AS link showed up in my mostly-straight work groupchat last week. Took me a minute to understand what was happening. Apparently AS also has the market on articles about the Babysitters Club.

  3. I’m conflicted on Impeachment because I really wish we, as a society, would leave Monica Lewinsky alone. She went through an absolutely horrific ordeal, yet she transformed herself into an absolute force for good. I can’t imagine she doesn’t know about this new show, which I’m sure is dredging up old shit for her. Again.

  4. I’m going to file most of the issues with “Y: The Last Man” as “acceptable breaks from reality” as TV tropes calls it. The story is about a literal journey through a metaphorical landscape; the fact that the landscape in question probably can’t exist (or at least not exactly as presented) in reality doesn’t invalidate it as a work of fiction, otherwise Sci-Fi and Fantasy wouldn’t exist. And the fact that some of the issues were tackled in a way that were easier to digest by an mid 2000s mass-market audience is practically a prerequisite for it to have become reasonably well-known to begin with. Even if touching on certain LGBTQ+ issues were unavoidable due to the concept, it wasn’t about that, or really aimed at an LGBTQ+ audience – rather, I believe it’s fundamentally about examining *cishet* issues.

    That said, an early 2020s audience isn’t the same as a mid-2000s audience. The explosion of LGBTQ+ representation over the 2010s changed that. Hopefully it won’t be a straight-up adaptation and will take that cultural shift into account. But even in the best case scenario, it’s still going into “acceptable breaks from reality” territory, and likely some of those are going to be “acceptable” only from a cishet perspective… if only because it’s a distraction from the story to insert heavy-handed educative moments on side issues which only tangentially relate to the themes of the story.

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