This Land Was Made for Gays & Queers This Sunday Funday

Hello, peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches with honey in the middle!

Toasted Marshmallows

Toasted Marshmallows needs your help.

What happens when your great-aunt, your only connection to your cultural roots, your only connection to your history, lies on her deathbed? What’s lost? A person? Language? The special ingredient in all her recipes? Remembrance?

Toasted Marshmallows is a film, performance and community building project chronicling two mixed-race women’s attempt at uncovering the cultures we were separated from. Anoushka Ratnarajah and Marcelitte Failla grew up far from the curry and gumbo that stewed on their grandmothers stove. On our journey to regain what was lost, we will meet and interview other mixed-women and ask what it means to be “authentically” rooted in one’s culture and how we maintain ties in a world of assimilation.

This Land Is Our Land

Just ask Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.

Our Government’s Not Always Terrible

+ John Kerry has said that visas of same-sex spouses from abroad will be reviewed immediately, and given the same treatment as those of different-sex spouses attempting to come to America.

“One of our most important exports by far is America’s belief in the equality of all people,” said Kerry. “Now, our history shows that we haven’t always gotten it right.”

But Kerry said Friday marked a day when America did, in fact, get it right.

“I’m very pleased to be able to announce that effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses,” he explained. “And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. And if you are in a country that doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world.”

+ The other day the Senate approved several gay nominees without batting an eyelash.

“Silversun Pickups Tale of  Budding Lesbian Love”

The video for “Dots and Dashes” is hella gay. Wish I was driving in the car to this one, too.

Olympic Bullshit

+ Blake Skjellerup, gay Olympian, wants athletes to go to Sochi and protest their anti-gay law.

+ A new Senate resolution demands the International Olympic Committee show opposition to the law and “protect athletes and spectators from discrimination at the Winter Olympics.” Jeff Merkley will introduce it.


This Is How Regina Spektor Wrote The OITNB Song

Regina dishes to Buzzfeed on writing “You’ve Got Time” and how she has yet to finish Season One:

What direction were you given from the show’s producers before writing “You’ve Got Time”?

Regina Spektor: There wasn’t anything given to me. Jenji [Kohan, the show’s creator] is really cool and she knows my music. She understands that I’m not a “this is the direction that we want” kind of a writer. While they were still casting the show, we had a great meeting in person in New York and she told me what the show was about and her feelings about it and some of the stories from the episode, almost the way you would tell your friend what happened in the show. She said, “It would be great if you could write an opening song for it,” and that was about it. I said, “This sounds really amazing, I’ll try.”


Freedom to Marry Day’s 75 Unforgettable Moments

Spoiler alert: totally adorbs stuff.


Tegan, Sara, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis: “Same Love”

This feels relevant to my interests, and probably Vanessa’s, and maybe yours.

Let Me Love You

This turtle is just not taking no for an answer.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. That Silversun Pickups video at 3:27… Could there be a more accurate visual depiction of young lesbian heartache? I died.

  2. Listening to same love while looking at the pictures from minnesota. I need an “All the feelings” notebook to process this tear-attack.

  3. You guys guess what?! I’m gonna be IN Toasted Marshmallows!! :)

    (Please help us!?!?!)

    • I logged in to let you know you’re definitely not the only one. Shits me up the wall that the song that gets the most coverage about equality is the one created by the straight white man. When a straight white man does it it’s immediately given more attention, completely shoving aside the people who have been creating music like this for years but not getting any attention because they weren’t on society’s “default” setting.

      If it makes you feel better, once I whined about him on Facebook and my queer friends were in agreement. The only one who disagreed was a straight white woman who told us not to overanalyze it. She got thoroughly straightened out over it. So.

      • “straightened out” har har

        But yeah, it shits me to tears that he gets the mainstream kudos for ‘tackling’ the ‘issue’ in his music, when there are myriad other queer artists already creating music about the same thing. I’ll admit I burst into tears over the film clip, but that’s because my emotions are easily swayed by piano riffs. Allies are great, but I’d love an actual queer hip-hop artist of colour getting the same level of mainstream attention.

        • Hey, I am awkwardly late to this conversation…but I want to pipe up, as gratefully and respectfully as possible, to remind all you rad queers to be careful not to “yuck another’s yum.” I know that’s a cheesy oversimplification, but hopefully you get the idea and don’t think I’m making light of something serious. I know how important it is to challenge our own thinking.

          I like Macklemore and I hadn’t thought about what his popularity means to queer rap artists of color, so thank you all for the discussion and the link to the awesome article that explains it really thoughtfully and clearly.

          But I still like Macklemore. And now I’m worried I am a bad queer or a bad ally for it. Am I unenlightened? Am I too stubborn? Thank you for opening my eyes. I really do appreciate it. Is there still room for me to like Macklemore? Is this something that’s open for discussion? I can’t tell. I’m afraid I’ll be “straightened out.” Can we talk about this in a less judgmental way?

  4. I’m still on a cloud from seeing Brandi Carlile and the twins absolutely fucking tear shit up at Salmonstock last night! She was so freaking amazing and having such a good time. I’ve never seen a more incredible show in my life and she was playing on a stage probably half the size she’s used to. But it was all the more awesome cause it’s a stage I helped build a few years ago. They didn’t care though. They loved Alaska and loved the audience.

    I’m serious. Girls everywhere were swooning! <3

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