“Work It” Gets Axed and Syd The Kid “Outs” Missy Elliot


ABC has cancelled Work It — not because it’s a misogynist piece of shit or because GLAAD asked them to, but because it got shitty ratings! Furthermore, a slew of negative reviews didn’t exactly garner the show any new viewers.

Four days ago at the Television Critics Tour in Pasadena, Paul Lee, ABC Entertainment topper, said he was confused by the GLAAD and HRC campaigns against his show:  “I didn’t really get it. I loved Tootsie. I still love Tootsie. I didn’t get it. But that’s probably me….”



The Internet and Odd Future’s Syd the Kid, an out lesbian, did an interview with LA Weekly in which she expressed her disdain for the word “lesbian” and, well — read it for yourself:

On the lack of out-of-the-closet gay urban artists: 
“There’s Alicia Keys, who’s married to Swizz Beatz – we know that shit ain’t real. You got Queen Latifah kissing Common in movies. Missy Elliott saying she don’t wanna hang with bitches. You know she loves her some bitches.”

On the word “lesbian”:
“I hate the word ‘lesbian.’ Or ‘pussy.’ Or even like, ‘thespian.’ They’re just awkward words! If you know me you might hear me say the word ‘gay,’ or something. I’d much rather say gay than lesbian. Not only that, but I don’t know if I’d kick it with a group of lesbians anyway.”

Firstly, wow! I’ve heard a lot of Alicia Keys rumors over the years, but I had the impression it was far from certain. Queen Latifah is common knowledge and Missy Elliot is semi-common knowledge. It seems like Syd the Kid’s thing is just to say whatever the fuck she wants all the time and not worry about the consequences, or something.



Britney Spears posted a home video of her son dancing to “Shake Your Grove Thing,” the best part is when the other kid comes in on his fucking crazy-bike.

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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 3223 articles for us.


  1. I don’t like the word lesbian either, I mean to describe myself as a gay lady. Mostly just because I don’t get why there has to be different words for gay men and gay women. Straight men and women don’t have this separation. Straight women aren’t called something different from straight men. They’re both just straight. So I dunno why gay women are called lesbians.

    • Yes I totally agree. The main reason I don’t use it is because gay has less negative connotations, and seems more matter-of-fact. I don’t like being called “A thing”, she’s A lesbian. Whereas gay is just gay. It’s less of a label I think.

      • I think you’re right about the labelling rather than describing thing. It’s the same sort of deal with the PC words for the Australian Aboriginal people — they prefer Aboriginal people to “Aborigines.”

        I do like the idea of looking back to Sappho though. It’s a nicer way to choose a label than reclaiming an insult (much as I like “queer”).

      • I think much of the discomfort around using The L Word now, stems from the porn industry hijacking the word and applying it to anything and everything that involves more than one woman in a camera shot.

        Porn (and trends in porn) actually have a lot of influence over the masses / psyche.

        GLAAD should confront the porn industry, who seem to think they have a free pass to throw around a term that ACTUAL lesbians go through a hell of a lot to try to embrace.

  2. I’m pretty sure it’s just Odd Future’s thing to just say whatever the fuck they want all the time and not worry about the consequences. I’m not into it.

  3. I do SOOOO totally agree about Alicia Keys!! I’ve always thought so too!! Her song “Unthinkable” could very well apply to a first-lesbian-love/accepting-and-embracing-what-we-feel type of situation.
    At least that’s what it is for me! =P

  4. Ive always wondered about the gay/lesbian distinction/ reason for separate terms. But I really like the word lesbian. Maybe related I the joy I felt when I came out to myself. How happy I was to finally have a name to call this thing that was such a special and important part of me. I finally felt a sense of belonging. I wasn’t a freak for my feelings. I was a lesbian and there were other women just like me. The word lesbian helped me define and understand myself and feel less alone. .

  5. It took me a long time to be comfortable with the term lesbian. Also, Everything I’ve encountered pertaining to Syd the Kid makes me really uncomfortable. I have to admit though, Unthinkable? Totally my secret gay song.

  6. I relate that to the whole “coming out” thing. I refuse to make it an “event”. When I meet someone, and I feel it’s time for you to meet her, so you will! =) At least that’s my plan. (Mom… Dad… I’m straight! No BF yet though… I’ll keep you posted!)… O.o!

  7. Besides some of the reasons stated above when it comes to the term lesbian (why are there separate terms, less of a label) I also noticed that because lesbian has 3 syllabuls (spelling?) it seems to drag out when I would tell people “I’m a les-bi-an.” like picture slow motion on lesbian lol and people would get these funny faces and while saying “I’m gay” it just hits them like BAM! lol
    Syd the Kid grinds my gears with some of the stuff she says.. Whatever though, the funny part is when I’m talking with my mom about how Syd the Kid yet again said something she always ask me “Sid the Science Kid from the kid’s tv show?” lol

  8. I like the word lesbian. I usually just use queer though. I hate celebrity gossip and really don’t care about any of the people mentioned in this article

  9. I like the word lesbian, and thesbian. I like any word that makes you use your tongue, but I don’t think I’d ever say “I’m a lesbian.” It’s like Miss vs Mrs, forcing women to offer up more information about themselves with a special label that men don’t have to worry about. I’m gay. But I still like the word lesbian. Lesbian!

    • That’s an interesting comparison of lesbian with miss/mrs. Formal and specific vs. casual and general, like “girls/women” vs “guys.”

      I definitely go for calling myself gay and groups of women guys. I don’t like to offer up more info than i have to.

    • I feel like this is a dumb question, but how is “lesbian” more specific than “gay”? Is it just because it specifically refers to a woman?

  10. When I read the part about Syd the Kid my brain automatically remembered that one interview where she was talking to her dad and she mentioned she “likes kicking bitches”. So I’m not really sure how I feel about her statement here. :/

    But I do agree with some of our fellow Straddlers’ thoughts about the word “lesbian” having a negative connotation. I’d much prefer it if there were no labels…just plain, sincere acceptance, you know?

  11. I guess that is why there is a show called the L word.

    My partner has no problem describing herself as such, I would rather just be a woman who loves a woman but we need neat, single word labels in society. Maybe Sapphic?

    • But the same thing could be said of the word lesbian. It originally meant “inhabitant of the Isle of Lesbos”, and as you point out above, not all Lesbians were, well… lesbians. Either way it’s inaccurate.

      • Ok, that makes sense. This whole debate reminds me of this court case, where residents of Lesbos tried to sue an LGBT organization for use of their name:


        It makes me giggle, but I can see how it wouldn’t be fun to have your heritage equated with something entirely different.

  12. I like the word lesbian and all things lesbic, lezbot, lesbro, lesbionic (I like this one a lot since it reminds me of the bionic woman), lezzie, lesbean…

  13. I love when straight people get in legit arguments with me on the premises of, “You’re not GAY, you’re a LESBIAN.”

    The first time it happened, it sorta blew my mind. After that, I just became irritated.

    But for the record, I’m not picky about labels. I’m awfully fond of dyke, actually.

  14. I prefer saying “she’s lesbian” rather than she’s A lesbian. I think the word needs to be reclaimed – by Lesbians everywhere and their friends :)

  15. I always refer to myself as being gay, and never as being a lesbian. It always makes me uncomfortable when people say that I’m a lesbian, not because I reject that part of myself, but because “lesbian” is such a defining term.

    My issue is that the word lesbian is a noun. When I say “I’m a lesbian,” it feels like I am defining myself by that one characteristic. I prefer the word gay because it’s an adjective, just another part of who I am. We don’t say “He’s a white, he’s a black, she’s a happy, she’s a depressed.” We use adjectives to describe people, not nouns. Gay men say “I’m gay” and bisexual people say “I’m bisexual,” whereas lesbians say “I’m a lesbian.”

    Calling myself a noun feels like defining myself by one characteristic, and inviting others to do the same. In my head, it’s the different between “I’m Kia, I’m a lesbian, and that’s probably what you’ll remember me as,” versus “I’m Kai. I happen to enjoy the romantic company of women, but that’s only a small part of who I am.”

    • That’s exactly how I feel about it. It just feels so weird to say “I’m a lesbian,” instead of “I’m gay.” Because that is just one of the things that I am, it isn’t THE thing that I am.

  16. I like lesbian. Its one of the many words available to describe sexuality. I think that is a good thing. All queer words are sexy to me.

  17. Even though I’m not a lesbian, I am actually quite fond of the word “lesbian”…lol. But I feel Syd. I dislike the word “bisexual” and absolutely refuse to describe myself as that…So I can’t judge her too harshly for her hate of the L word.

  18. My feeling is this. As long as you don’t or haven’t had any physical sexual act with the same sex, you are not a Lesbian or Homosexual. The desire to make you Gay.

    And another thing, let people come out when and if they decide too. Just because you don’t see them with the opposite sex doesn’t automatically mean they are gay.

    • I don’t understand.. does that mean that I wasn’t a lesbian when I was in the closet, even though I was shitting myself about being a lesbian?

    • I’m not sure I’m reading this correctly – are you saying homosexual sex is a prerequisite to identifying as queer? By that logic, all virgins are automatically straight.

      • Or maybe all virgins are asexual, as sexuality, in A’s opinion, is determined by action rather than desire?

        Also, if sexual activity is the only thing that can define sexuality, then I can magically turn girls gay by kissing them. This solves my straight-girl crush problem.

    • I am inclined to agree! If you think Alicia Keyes likes ladies, ok, that is one thing, but saying her marriage is fake is just, it’s just a dead douchey thing to say. Whatever, Syd!

  19. I don’t mind the word lesbian, but I prefer to say “I’m gay.” It’s short, to the point, is a statement, and has a minimum of syllables. Also, as a femme woman, I feel like lesbian has become a sensationalized term used in the media for pseudo-lesbian situations like in porn. Or whenever some actress or fashionista is dating a woman, they say “her lesbian lover.” Um, because apparently saying “her girlfriend” isn’t descriptive enough? I hate that. If someone describes me as a lesbian, I’m cool with that. But if someone asks, I’m gay.

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