Happy Sunday Funday! What are your plans today? I’m spending the day inside cleaning and might order myself a pizza as a gift and do affirmations while eating it.
The good news is, even if you don’t have plans you have me and a boatload of wonderfulness! This week I have a big ball of news from Hillary Clinton to Ellen DeGeneres, after all. What could be better?
When One Door Closes in North Carolina…
It turns out the retirement of pro-gay marriage North Carolina Governor Beverly Purdue might turn out to be a huge gift to the same-sex marriage movement in the state:
North Carolina Democrats will need to pick candidates in May to replace Perdue; they’ll also be asked to weigh in on the gay marriage ban. While Republicans need to show up in May to pick their candidates for president, Democrats had no real reason to vote then, other than weighing in on the ban, before Perdue announced she was retiring. Now, Democrats will likely show up in larger numbers for the primary and possibly turn the tide on the marriage question.
Shaun Donovan Still Hangs With Gays
The White House once again represented their ranks at an LGBT-oriented event, this time sending the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, to the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, put on by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. This year the program took place in Baltimore.
This Article on Femme Invisibility
I think you’re going to like this article on femme invisibility. It’s called “Femme Invisibility.”
Says Megan Evans of the Huffington Post:
Despite slightly increased visibility (mainly thanks to fictional characters), one issue remains for femme lesbians: how to be recognised as being a lesbian. People look for the telltale signs to figure out whether a woman is a lesbian or not: short hair, no makeup, wearing baggy jeans and a t-shirt. Some lesbians can be spotted right away, and there are those who are a mix between masculine and feminine and are slightly easier to spot, especially for the well-trained lesbian eye. But what about femmes?
We suffer from femme invisibility. We mainly slip under the radars of both straight and gay people. For example, I used to go out gay clubbing twice a week whilst at university (the majority of my friends were gay males), and it was very hard for me to find a lady when out because 1) other lesbians most likely assumed I was straight or a “fag hag,” and 2) I assumed the majority of pretty ladies in the club were straight or fag hags. See the dilemma? I often felt that flashing a neon sign proclaiming “Yes, I am gay” would help.
She also includes a slideshow.
Glenn Close in a Suit
Glenn Close is about to play a famous dude who wasn’t really a dude at all:
“Albert Nobbs” is a complex movie about a simple man with grand dreams — and a big secret.
The fastidious Mr. Nobbs works as a waiter at a posh Irish hotel. He carefully tracks the tips he receives from his stylish clients, saving up to buy a tobacconist’s shop (even though he does not know how to smoke or even roll a cigarette). He lives a quiet lonely life, carefully locking the door to his Spartan room, wandering the streets of 19th century Dublin looking like an early version of Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp and squirreling away his growing stockpile beneath a loose floorboard.
All that changes when he is briefly forced to share his room with Hubert Page, a painter who has been hired to spruce up the hotel. The two men soon realize they share a secret — both are really women who have dressed as men to escape poverty and sexual violence.
“The New Normal” Goes Mainstream
NBC recently ordered a pilot for “The New Normal,” a television family comedy “centering on a gay couple and the woman who becomes their surrogate.”
Pink Sends Ellen DeGeneres a Babygram
Ellen’s birthday means loving messages from all kinds of wonderful women in this world, some of whom have babies and are Pink and like to communication via video appearance:
Stood in her garden but speaking to the camera, Pink said: “Hi Ellen. I love you, I love you, I love you. Happy happy happy birthday. I wish you this year freedom, love, laughter, sleeping in late, getting lots of rest.”
Moving towards the door of her home, she added: “I want to show you a surprise. I have a surprise just because I love you. A very rare and special treat. Someone wants to say hello.”
She then brought eight-month old Willow Hart into view. Willow smiled at the camera, causing Ellen to appear moved.
Pink signed off by waving and saying: “Happy birthday, happy birthday.”
I Like Writing About Amy Winehouse
I have a Jean Paul Gaultier perfume locket and it’s one of my prized possessions. His latest collection was a complete and total homage to Amy Winehouse, though, which moves me even more to continue drooling in boutique windows at everything he has ever done.
Ice-T Loves Hillary Clinton
Did you know Ice-T made a documentary that aired at Sundance? (He did. His directorial debut, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap.”)
Also he called Hillary Clinton “a G.” Seriously:
“She did the Secretary of State job, she was a G, she held it down, she didn’t cry,” referring to the former New York Senator with the hip-hop term for gangster (a positive thing).
“Obama will support her,” he said, “and she’ll be the first woman president.”
They Were Fucked Up on “Wheel of Fortune”
You were right. There was no way Pat Sajak and Vanna White could have actually cared about vowels so much:
Pat Sajak admitted in an interview with ESPN2 today that he was often drunk when he filmed Wheel of Fortune back in the day. Thank you, Pat, for confirming what most of us already knew in our hearts. He spilled the dirty details about what went on during the breaks between shows, and they’re actually pretty hilarious.
[Sajak:] At NBC in Burbank we had a place called Los Arcos across the street — which is Spanish, as you know, for ‘The Arcos’ — and they served great margaritas. Vanna and I would go across and have two or three or six and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet.
Do you see this baby sea otter? DO YOU SEE IT.
She’s Cayucos, an orphaned sea otter currently staying in Chicago at the Shedd Aquarium. Here’s a video of her eating shrimp and more of her life story, by the way.
There wasn’t anything here I didn’t love! But that article about Femme Invisibility was Amazeballs! True story: I was in Palm Springs last year for The Dinah..While at the White Party, wearing a kickass mini-dress a chick I admit I was rather attracted to put her hands on my waist, stepped in close and whispered in my ear “So, are you absolutely sure you’re straight?” FTW! I’m at The Dinah White Party grinding an girls..Do I really need to wear a sign saying “I dig chicks”?
That is a precious story. Hilarious.
I’m always interested in articles about femme invisibility but something about this particular article by Megan Evans struck a nerve with me. She makes all the right points about femmes being invisible within our own community, but then uses famous femmes and femme characters on television as examples of how femmes are being increasingly portrayed in the media. I think she missed the glaring fact that there are almost NO butch lesbians on mainstream television at all.
Femme invisibility is a problem within the gay culture, but butch invisibility is the problem on television.
Okay, people assume I’m straight until I tell them otherwise. So I tell them otherwise: job done.
A lot of stuff written about femme invisibility (including this article) comes off as “Woe is me, I am so pretty no one assumes I’m gay. I get to choose when, where and whether I disclose that information. When I am in a gay club I have to GO UP TO OTHER LADIES and TALK TO THEM instead of standing by the bar and waiting for them to hit on my magnificence. It is so terrible, guys, you don’t even know.”
Yes, being overlooked sometimes in your own community can be pretty shit. But (as I’ve said before) we are overwhelmingly the ones with privilege here. We fit in more with how society expects women to be, and we get all the rewards that go with that. And in a situation where it is dangerous or disadvantageous to be gay (job interview, subway car with a pile of drunken frat boys, etc) we are safe unless we choose to be otherwise. None of this is the case for butch queers. I have yet to see an article or blog post about femme invisiblity that does a good job of highlighting that.
It is not So Hard To Be Us. Okay?
I agree. Though I can appreciate the concept of the article, I think she largely overlooks the fact that there are situations (the job I have for instance) that wouldn’t be available to a more “obvious” lesbian. It is definitely a safer situation a lot of the time. I cant really feel bad for a girl who is upset girls don’t notice her based on this. I can, however, empathize with the way heterosexual men treat out, femme lesbians. I don’t have many butch friends with similar experiences of guys expecting they can make them straight…or watch them fuck. Ugh!
Yeah, that bothered me too.
Also, she counts Amber Heard as a famous femme lesbian, but she’s “not sure” about Lindsay Lohan? Lindsay Lohan had a long-term relationship with another woman–what more does she have to do?
Yes to all of this.
Also, and maybe this is a minor quibble, but this bothered me: “I assumed the majority of pretty ladies in the club were straight or fag hags.” Umm, excusez-moi, butch or andro women can’t be pretty?
I went back and re-read that..Rather pissed at myself for having missed it the first time..That is so not a “minor quibble” but rather a spot on observation and I thank you for pointing it out!
Wow..excellent point. I should’ve read twice, commented once, because I’m disagreeing more by the minute, lol. She pretty much says femmes are the only attractive women in the gay community, and I completely disagree with such nonsense!!
As would I…My ex wouldn’t have been caught dead in one of my mini’s..She was a cargo shorts and hiking boots kinda girl and frankly..She made me weak in the knees, she was so damned lovely!
I think it’s possible that her point was to use “pretty ladies” as a specifically feminine idea, rather than say the only attractive/good-looking/handsome women– which includes problematic assumption that anyone who identifies as butch (or anything not “femme”) rejects the term pretty. I think the whole article went roughly over stuff that has been covered in a more nuanced and insightful way elsewhere. As someone who struggles with femme invisibility myself, I was hoping the article would be something I would enjoy; as it was, it left me cold and if anything focused on ways femmes are NOT invisible (aka in TV land).
Yes, I agree completely with this. Femme invisibility may be a problem within the community (and I totally feel where she’s coming from, the first lesbian I came out to didn’t quite believe me) but I’m not sure her television examples help her case.
When it comes to television, butch lesbians just don’t exist. Sometimes I think PLL is trying to sell Emily as vaguely butch since she wears t-shirts and jeans a lot.
The article just hit me wrong. It almost felt like she really doesn’t like butch lesbians. To each their own, but surely it wasn’t necessary to dismiss butches (and the femmes who love them) to make her point.
I did feel like the author was speaking almost from a point of -I don’t want to say privilege-but perhaps just a genuine unawareness? It was as if she was ignorant of some of the feelings that butch women can have both within the gay community and outside of it.
There’s no point in playing the game of “who has it worse, femmes or butches?” Because hey, we’re all lesbians and, you know, humans. (And we don’t all fall into either of those categories.)
We all face some sort of adversity.
But I just have to point out that the current version of queer female visibility on television only tells part of the story- the femme part. And while I am SOOOOO glad that there are great examples of lesbians on television, I wish that those lesbians were more representative of the whole lesbian community, instead of the part of the community that is easier to sell–the “pretty,” feminine, cisgender lesbian.
I wish that Glee would introduce a butch lesbian on the show, just to give Santana some real competition over Brittany’s affections. And also, I find butch girls super hot.
i dont know what disturbs me more…the fact that i spent my entire childhood watching a drunk Pat Sajak, or that I cant adopt baby sea otter.
glenn close in a suit looks like robin williams. i can’t really get past this.
whoa…you’re totally right.
This article was capital G gangsta. Pink’s baby melted my heart… so adorbs.
That article about “femme invisibility” was a good read. I completely understand where she’s coming from…though I certainly wouldn’t call us invisible. I’ve always wished I presented more obviously, but it just isn’t me. Sure, it would’ve been nice to not have to make the first move every time…but I have to admit to some degree of femme privilege as well. I’ve always been out and honest, because I am proud of who I am, but I know I’ve escaped plenty of scrutiny based on the fact that I don’t really “look” gay. I think it’s a double-edged sword. I have to say I’ve never felt unaccepted by my fellow gays as the writer has, though I am familiar with the assumption that I’m a straight chick hanging with gay boys. Overall, I really like the idea of her campaign for greater visibility in the public arena.
You said “John Paul Gaultier,” and my ears perked up like a small but excited Doberman’s. My favorite piece of the collection was the super-eclectic, totally unwearable, kind of weird Poison Ivy dress. Stunning.
Okay, I read the article and I was happily muttering “preach” under my breath until I got to “I’m not sure Lindsay Lohan or Megan Fox really count, do they?”
…why? I mean, if it’s because they’re bi, then that’s pretty self-evident (to anyone who has access to TMZ or People magazine or Wikipedia) and totally unnecessary to include in an essay about lesbian role models, since the other women mentioned were lesbians and not bisexuals. I cannot possibly think of any other legitimate reason for why they are less worthy as examples of femme ladies who like ladies than Santana Lopez or Portia de Rossi or Chely Wright.
Baby otter and Pink’s baby- such a nice dose of cute!
Femme invisibility is why I, as an “obvious” lesbian, take the time to investigate attractive femme’s in places that are obviously filled with gays, like clubs. Even if they aren’t gay, they are at a gay place, and usually just politely tell me they’re not interested. Out in the world I admit its harder to tell, but that’s why you just gotta talk to people. There are pros and cons to every way of presenting yourself.
THIS!! Yes..Yes..Yes!! I have no problem approaching women in clubs and have never been shy about admitting my attraction to someone..Having said that, it’s nice to be approached..Frankly, I find that kind of confidence sexy as Hell!
Yeah, some people think the worst thing in the world is approaching people ans its a shame. Confidence is sexy, and even if you aren’t smooth,awkward advances can be considered cute lol. There is nothing better for the ego than to be hit on.
Awkward advances are the cutest….and also how I ended up with the love of my life! We started chatting at a bar where I used to work, and eventually decided to hang out. When we made plans to go on our first “date” both of us were trying to figure out if it was a date or just a movie with a straight chick! Lol. The way we both stumbled over our words was a pretty good indicator that we wanted to share more than popcorn ;)
This is too damned cute…Reminds me of Mo Brownsey’s book “Is It A Date Or Just Coffee: The Gay Girls Guide To Dating, Sex And Romance”..Just gave that to a friend who set off for college.
Thank you :) Ididn’t know there was such a book! I so wish someone had sent me to college with it, lol.
I need to look up this book, maybe it’ll spare me the awkwardness of having to be like “So..is this a date…?”
here’s what’s up. autostraddle designs rings, silver?//triangle?//pink?//rainbow//queer-signified, for the middle finger, right hand, sold by autostraddle, bought and worn by lesbians.
then we know who likes girls.
I cannot wait for Albert Nobb! I love Glenn Close
Just one more note on the femme invisibility article about the definition of femme. I am a bit confuzzled because on my trips around the blogosphere/internets (mostly butch/moc/trans aimed but many a mixed or femme focus too) I came under the impression of femme as a more specific type of label. The author talked about femme as a kind of catch-all for feminine appearance amongst the lady-gays. But when I’ve seen it choosing to label as ‘femme’ encapsulates a more intentional (and often very queer) take on femininity, which can include appearance, performance, and even gender identity among other things.
Am I wrong on the femme front? Am I just mixing up different uses of the word ‘femme’ ie the context calls for definition (a) of femme and I am thinking of definition (b)? Is it for convenience’s sake because we tend to know what she means by ‘femme’ as shorthand? I’ve seen the author elsewhere and I think she does identify as femme, so which definition is she using? Or is femme being misused much in the way that ‘butch’ was used to refer to a whole smattering of people starting from no makeup and baggy jeans and ending who knows where?
Willow! Three months older than my kid, so babies melt my heart anyway, but hell, she’s cute.