Paris Is Burning is one of the defining documentaries of the 1980s. It brought vogueing to the mainstream from the underground black and gay communities of New York City. It's been highly influential in exposing a part of society that was neglected for the better part of the 20th century.
RuPaul's sole hit “Supermodel (You Better Work)” cites “Shantay! Sashay!” His TV show Drag Race dedicates a portion to “reading”. Because, reading is what? FUNDAMENTAL! RuPaul would even airlift one of Venus Xtravaganza's read into his single “Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous”. Venus declared, “your just an overgrown orangutan!”
The documentary includes nuggets of wisdom from all walks of life. Octavia Saint Laurent said, “I think all men are dogs (…) they all start barking sooner or later.” Or take Eileen Ford's advice when it comes to modeling, “when people ask you how you feel don't tell them your sick, because they don't really care.” Paris Is Burning is the kind of gem that has to be watched at least once.
This presidential election is a pretty clear sign that the old white people are handling the social progress our country is making really well. Our republican front-runner is the clearest sign of their forward thinking thoughts on immigration, women, the gays, and freedom of religion.
Of course Ted Cruz avowed at some point to bring back “biblical marriage” and I’m personally disappointed that he won’t have a chance to make polygamy mainstream again.
With higher trans visibility they have also been more highly under attack. Over 10 states are looking at passing “bathroom laws” that don’t allows trans individuals to use their correctly gendered bathrooms. To that I say, in the most politically correct way “fuck you America”
Also, shout out to Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee for passing a bill into law that allows health care providers to discriminate against the LGBT. It’s not as if we are a disenfranchised minority group that faces constant discrimination. Thank you for making our lives more difficult.
A night of cheap entertainment was in order. Currently there's $25.17 in my bank account (I'm ignoring the textbooks that still need to be bought). Joyce and I caught up over a bottle of apple cider and showed each other two movies we had to see.
The cast is fairly female driven only with the androgynous chemistry of Marc (played by Israel Broussard) to break the estrogen. There are some great guest appearances by Paris Hilton, Leslie Mann, and Kirsten Dunst. Emma Watson also plays one of the thieves with her iconic line, “I want to rob.”
It's scary how accurately this movie portrays teenagers. They are fame obsessed. They have pouty mouths to have pouty mouths. They do drugs and they party. All while their parents ignore them. Sofia Coppola did an amazing job accurately portraying them. You root for them even as you know there is only one way this will end. It's a teen movie that certainly trying to say something about society. And, how we're driven.
Buy "Bad Girls"
This movie is a 5 star experience. It's funny. It has a message to be taken away from it. It's 90 minutes long. Take your time out and see it.
A rock band that likes to have sex and party hard. A young journalist who hasn't been deflowered. A plane going down in the tragic tradition of Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson. A homosexual identity revealed with a “I'm gay!” The quintessential explanation of what the seventies were. The late and great Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a role that seems less a role, then real life.
It was nominated for four Oscars. It's practically a landmark in cinematography. Zooey Deschanel plays the role of the narrator's sister. She's giving us some Katy Perry realness and it makes me wonder how hard it would be to replace Katy with Zooey. They could be twins.
If The Bling Ring didn't capture your attention and Almost Famous seems tepid. I can't help you. These movies are tens across the board and the highlight of 2000 and 2013. Get your life together.
In a relatively short span of time, YouTube has become inescapable. It unlike Face Book remains relevant among the younger population. Of all the things it's done is to create a population of people famous just for making videos. And, I said why not Throwback to youtubers. I'm not sure if you can really throwback to something that is still relevant and happening, but we're going to just ignore that.
Now, I just got functioning internet last year, so my knowledge of youtubers is limited in scope, so don't judge my list of people I like. I know the big ones. Forewarning that Shane Dawson is not on this list. I know everyone used to be obsessed with his hair. No shade towards his hair, but okay.
Connor Franta is also not on this list. Now, I've only seen his coming out video, so probably not a good basis for determining if I want to watch his channel. I just always assume all youtubers are gay until proven otherwise and I was watching it like oh my god. Honestly, the coming out process is not something I would want for the world to see. It's an emotional process and I just wanted to awkwardly hug him.
I'm going to be basic as fuck and put Tyler Oakley. If you don't know who this is. I can't really help you. I also can't pick a favorite video of Tyler's. I'm honestly doing a pretty shitty job keeping up with his channel. I try and then I proceed to fail. If you've never watched a youtuber this is where you start. I don't really know what else to say. Donate to the Trevor Project? Watch him? Love yourself???
This is where I get more hipster, I feel. Maybe. I don't know. Do you know who Superfruit is? There 2/5 of Pentatonix. That acapella group that slayed the charts with their Christmas album last year. It's made up of Scott Hoying who is just so cute and Mitch Grassi who is equally cute but in a different way. Mitch legit has a locust tattooed on his arm. I don't even know what to say about that. I'm really bad about keeping up with them. I'm going to need to marathon them soon. I've been missing them. They're probably the favoritest of my favorite youtubers.
I really, really, really like Troye Sivan. I don't know if I like his channel, though. He tries to hard to entertain us and I love him when he's with Tyler Oakley or anyone else. He's great. I'm not sure why he tries so hard. He could legitimately just sit down about his life and talk to us and I would love it. Watch him. Everyone loves him and he super cute.
Then, there's Davey Wavey. Gay to the tenth power. I swear if you are anything but gay and you are watching his channel, what is he offering you. I love Davey Wavey. I did a Media Monday article on during that horrible time I called the 12 Days of Bubbles. I hope you all enjoyed it, because that was a mess. Christmas is just a messy time for me anyway and a post a day was interesting. Watch Davey at your own risk, but I love him.
What is the big surprise and announcement I've been sort of hinting at vaguely for like a month now. Your context clues should be telling you that I've decided to be a youtuber. I hope you love the sound of my voice and I'm even more beautiful then you anticipated. None of that's going to be true, but we shall see how this goes. Hopefully, this video is not as much of a mess as I think it is. Because, to be honest I didn't even watch it.
The basic premise of this show is that Betty Saurez (played by America Ferrera) is not traditionally attractive. She has an average body type, braces, with no taste in clothes and unflattering glasses frames. And, of course she works as the secretary to the editor in chief of a fashion magazine. It's all loosely based off of Vogue.
The first season starts with the new editor in chief (Daniel Meade) taking the place of Fey Summers. The former editor in chief who died in a horrible car crash after her brake lines were cut. We see glimpses of Fey Summers with her bob and prim attitude, reminiscent of current Vogue editor, Anna Wintour.
This show is built off of drama. The bitchy secretaries (Amanda and Mark), the woman plotting to take over the magazine (Wilhemina Slater), the tumultuous Meade family, and the daily struggles of the Suarez household. That include, but are not limited to: Betty's boyfriend she doesn't love but doesn't know how to break up with, Hilda's love for the man who knocked her up, Betty's father being deported, Betty's nephew Justin dealing with the problems of choosing not to conform to adolescent standards, shady lawyers, case workers, and a slutty neighbor.
I might have missed something. Sometimes I forget that this show is based off a telenovela. I have never seen a telenovela, but from what I understand their like our soap operas, times ten. I was informed by someone I sit with at lunch not to judge Hispanic culture by this and I told him who am I to judge. What really is American culture? Throwing tea into the ocean and baseball. We are not the ones to judge.
Honestly, I love everyone who isn't, Betty. Although, I do hate all of Betty's boyfriends. They just reinforce the fact that men are shit. Wilhemina is probably my favorite. Vanessa Williams killed this role. She is bitchy and in command and me. Her assistant Mark is adorable and equally bitchy as is his assistant friend Amanda. She's my queen. Claire Meade, wife of Bradford Meade, is queen bitch. Slay mama Meade. I love all of Betty's family. Her sister can be annoying. Her father is everything and 12 year old me totally had a crush on Justin.
It's really weird looking back on this show at 18 and realizing I had a crush on him. I feel really pedophilic. It was age appropriate at the time and now I'm just like I can't take back these feelings. Grown up Justin has moments where he's really cute.
Justin is probably one of my favorites. I especially like his relationship with Mark. Mark is like his guardian gay. He's always there to mentor him and I just love it. When the two of them are together it's everything. Justin is also not openly gay until the last season. It's coming to terms with it and I love how his family is just always there being supportive. Even, his biological father gets on board eventually with letting Justin be Justin. It's just really nice. It's how it should be. My parents died, because in the last season Justin finally kisses this boy he likes. They saw it and they were like that's disgusting. And, I was like this is the best part of Ugly Betty.
I definitely think you should watch it. I want to tell you more, but I don't know how much I can tell you without giving away the entire plot of the first season. Make sure whatever you do, though, that if you watch the first season that you have access to the second season. The season finale of season one was everything. If you were a character on Ugly Betty at that point you were either in some state of moral peril or your world was literally falling apart. There was no in between. It was awesome.
Surprise of all surprises I have actually been reading over Christmas break. It is probably really hard to believe that I of all people actually enjoy reading. All I talk about is movies and boys and music. The fun stuff. During the semester I do not read anything. That is funny. Trying to maintain focus on The Odyssey and your trashy romance novel at the same time does not pan out.
Right before Christmas I started these two books by David Levithan. One is called Boy Meets Boy and the other is Two Boys Kissing. We are going to flashback and then go forward. It's actually all by accident that I read the books in the order that I did. I really wanted to read Two Boys Kissing first, but for some reason I chose to read Boys Meets Boy. I had both of the books with me, but I chose to read Boy Meets Boy first even though I wanted to read Two Boys Kissing. This may sound like extraneous information it is not.
Buy Boy Meets Boy
Now the reason I'm technically qualifying this as a Throwback Thursday is that Boy Meets Boy just recently had it's ten year anniversary. This was David Levithan's first novel and it's hardly the paramount of what gay literature should be. This book was protested, people tried to ban it, and honestly it's just a story of two boys falling in love.
It's an incredibly optimistic novel. It shows the world as how it should be instead of how it is. There's a nice mixture of representation in the gay community, you have the transgendered cheer leader, the boy coming to terms with his bisexuality, and of course the two main boys themselves.
There is however the contrast of Tony. He is the narrators best friend and his parents are very religious. Tony is saintly. He is almost a martyr. The author reveals that Tony is based off a the title character in a song called “Tony” by Patty Griffin. Tony kills himself in the song. David Levithan said that he wanted to rewrite Tony's story. The book is even dedicated to Tony.
Boy Meets Boy is the happiest I've ever felt reading a book. It was only when it was over that I was depressed. I realized or I thought I realized that I would never be that happy. I would always be Tony. The boy who ends up killing himself, I would never be the lead character who's family loves them and supports them.
That is why I probably should not have read Two Boys Kissing next. Thank god that I did, but it was not really a strong game plan. Where Boy Meets Boy is this uplifting novel, Two Boys Kissing is realistic. David Levithan wrote this book almost ten years after Boy Meets Boy.
This novel is important. This novel should be a classic. I don't say that lightly. I am not kidding with you when I say that. This isn't an exaggeration. Two Boys Kissing is the most beautiful book I have ever read in my life. It's also one of the saddest.
The perspective David Levithan uses is very interesting. It tells the story of four groups of boys and it's observed by this omnipresent spirit. I know that sounds strange, I'm not phrasing it well, but this person acts like a chorus in the Greek classics. This unnamed character is gay and is advising and struggling with them.
Everything about this book is triggering if you are gay. I understood every single character. I understand that Craig and Harry want to show the world that it's okay to be gay. I can relate to Neil and Peter, even though I've never been in a relationship. Avery despite being transgendered is the most relate able character. He deals with body issues that even the most secure of us have. I hate to say that Cooper is the one I understood the most. The parents who didn't love, the parents who only realized they cared about him after he tried to kill himself.
Now Boy Meets Boy already made me an emotional wreck. Two Boys Kissing just finished the pile up. I had no interest in spending time with my family. I apologize for all of my tweets. I was literally the Grinch. Christmas day I pretended I was asleep. When my mother finally made me wake up. She knew something was wrong. I wouldn't tell her. Why would I? It has been eight years. And no where in that time did I think telling my religious parents I was gay was a good idea.
So, I took a shower. I even had my outfit planned out. All black. A shirt my father had told me was very feminine. I was ready. Except I wasn't really. I was sobbing and crying in the shower. Note to everyone that a shower doesn't help get rid of your tears if you keep crying. I thought I would burn some calories that day. It did not happen.
My shower was about an hour long. In between curling up on the shower floor and trying to collect myself. I tried to make light of it. Ask myself why I was crying. Because, Legally Blonde was a really emotional movie. Or the very positive thought that crying worked the abdominal muscles. If it did I do not see any improvement.
What actually got me composed was Madonna. I just sang “Living For Love”. It was things like “I'm down on my knees alone in the dark/ I'm going to carry on/ I'm living for love/ I'm not giving up/ Love is going to lift me up”. Whenever anything's wrong it's Madonna or Sheryl Crow or Lady Gaga or anyone who tells me it's okay. Madonna will never know how much I needed he
Finally. After an hour, I am composed. I traipse down the stairs, I am steel. I am the bitch I've always trained myself to be. I come down with my parents presents in hand. They continue to ask me what's wrong. I ignore them. I had been strong for eight years and Lord knows I could be strong for another four.
I tell them that I was only here to open Christmas presents. They don't open anything I bought them. I bring in a few of the presents and open them. I'm trying so hard not to think, not to break down and cry. I'm unnecessarily callous. My mother starts crying.
I really don't have any sympathy for her. My father tells me I need to get out. That I have ruined Christmas. Of course I have. I've spent no time with my family on a family holiday. I have no interest in talking to them. I am over it. Still, I'm a dramatic cunt and I told them Merry Christmas.
There are a lot things that I've experienced with my father. I know when I make him angry that he throws the money he spends on me against me. Sorry, you decided to have a child. I know he swears, but that day I thought he was going to hit me. I don't what held him back. Thinking about the concept of your parents hitting you, you shiver a little bit. I was so dead inside that I wasn't afraid if he hit me. If anything I would have known how to respond to that. There are a lot of ways I've imagined telling my parents that “by the way I'm a homosexual” and no matter how I did it. The reaction is always the same. Without even telling them I was gay, I managed to get exactly the reaction I always expected.
I stood there and listened to him call me a son of a bitch and a bastard. He threw around fuck for good measure and when he was done. I walked upstairs. I shut my door and listened to “Living For Love”. The Jenny Lewis song “Head Underwater” and then my parents left. They had a Christmas party to go to. One I had opted out of, because it sounded god awful. A bunch of middle aged, religious republicans. Choke me with a cashmere scarf already.
What was weird is that when my parents were leaving they were having the most normal conversation. They were talking about the weather. What the actual fuck parents. What the fuck.
I finally hear them leave and I do what I always do when I'm depressed. I put on some dance music. I have never listened to my music quite as loud as I did to Britney Spears “Hold It Against Me”. It was also the most ugly thing to see me when the Madonna song “Holiday” came on. I was crying and dancing and wailing the lyrics.
You know I question why I'm alone, but I really do understand. I'm a train wreck.
Everyone needs a break from dancing at some point, and I am just casually sitting there eating a bagel when the garage door opens. I did not expect my parents to be home so soon. I shut the music off and calmly run up the stairs. My bagels still sitting there on the table.
Lord knows I have dropped more then a few hints along the way. My hair has been 50 Shades of Purple, I can barely walk in my skinny jeans, my unnatural obsession with Madonna, but more importantly whenever they ask me about girls there never is one. I have never once told them about a girl liked, because there has never been one.
This is what I really needed to hear. And, he holds me. I can't tell you how badly I've needed someone to just hold me and let me cry. Just to let me not say anything and cry. How can you explain that to someone. Just hold still, I'm going to start crying on your shoulder, and I'm not going to explain anything to you after wards.
There was some talking as there needed to be and we went on with our Christmas. We salvaged it if you want to say that. Isn't that just like me. Merry Christmas parents, I'm gay. Could I have been more dramatic. Like come on.
My mother and I don't talk about it. We go out to dinner. Forgive that poor waiter who was working on Christmas, I am sorry. Then, we saw Into the Woods. The gayest movie at the box office next to Annie. Can we just talk about how good Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen looked in this movie. That was a Christmas miracle. For the first time I was sitting next to my parents, completely enraptured by these two beautiful men, and if I told them, it wouldn't have surprised them at all.
At home. We played a boardgame. I won. I came upstairs to blog when I realized I hadn't talked to my mother. I hadn't said to her. I'm gay. I like boys and a good dick in the morning. Of course you would never tell you parents that in that exact phrasing.
So, I trek my way from the comfort of my bedroom. I say to her is there anything you want to talk about? She says no.
She asks me if there's anything I want to talk about. I want to know how much she wants to know. If I'm dating someone, if there's a boy I like (The answer is no on both counts).
We talk for a few hours. My mother was in denial. She reiterated that it was a sin and a choice I was making, but that I was an adult and that she still loved me. I nod and just listen. Now is not the time to say no one would ever choose to be gay. No one choose to have people hate you for no reason. If I could be straight, things would be a lot easier. And, I have read the Bible, but apologies to any religious reader out there. Some things in the Bible are fucked up.
But, I think we're okay. And, some day they will understand that I'm born this way. That I didn't make a choice. It wasn't anything they did. Right now that's what's killing me. They think they did something wrong. You did nothing wrong. The fact that they think they did something wrong is exactly how they feel about me. There's something wrong with me.
I've come to realize that there were different levels of acceptance represented in Two Boys Kissing. I'm no longer Cooper. I'm no longer the person who wants to kill themselves, because there parents hate them. I'm Ryan. Working on it one step at a time and someday I'll have that love that Peter and Neil have. Someday that will happen.
I am not advocating coming out to your parents or your family. I feel so much better having it out in the open, but I also understand. I understand looking at your car and wondering if you're ever going to have to sleep in it, because your parents kicked you out. When people tell you it gets better, that coming out is the best thing they ever did. They're right, but there's always the possibility that it's worst thing that ever happens to you. I understand if you're afraid. My father had to do it for me.
Know that someone cares. That someone is me and every other gay out there, because we all understand. I don't need to meet you to know that I care about your struggle. We understand. I don't want you to think about your killing yourself like I have. I want you to know that someone cares. I don't need to like you to care about you. Everyone deserves to be happy and you will be. Just hold on. You can do it. I care about you and I love you just the way you are. It was RuPaul who told me that first.
It shouldn't take Kesha and Lady Gaga to tell us that it's okay for us to be who we are. It shouldn't be books or television that tells us we're fine. But, I'm so glad that they are here. Because, we need them. We really need them.
You will survive. You will be a better person. You will make it. I know you can. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to contact me whenever you need me. All of that information is at the top of the page.
If you are struggling with religious family members. Tony said something very wise in Boy Meets Boy that might help. He said that they were just trying to save him, to do the best they could for him. Your family is wrong for trying to change you, for not realizing that you are fucking perfect. It is however stemming from a place of love. They don't want you to go to hell. And, as awful as they treat you and as they make you feel. They want what's best for you in some sick twisted way.
Most importantly, stay safe. Be who you are, but be safe. That's something everyone deserves.
Thank God for GCB. This show saved my life. I miss it so much. There was only one season, and two years later I still want this show back.
The real problem this show had was that it was a mid-season replacement for Pan-Am. You remember that retro show about the stewardesses. That was just one of the many retro shows they tried to do that year. All the stations were trying to capitalize on the popularity of Mad Men. Every single one of those shows was canceled. I even liked the one NBC did, The Playboy Club. Amber Heard was in it and she is so sexy. Then, Eddie Cibrian was in it.
I guess middle America wasn't ready for all that sex. I was. I saw every single episode. Granted, that show didn't even make it to the mid-season mark. They canceled after three episodes? Tragedy.
Of course I watched. I wasn't supposed to. I also wasn't supposed to watch Desperate Housewives but that isn't the point. My parents didn't want me watching it because it slandered good christian people. Just like I wasn't supposed to watch The Playboy Club but I did anyway.
That was another problem, GCB had was that it offended the staunch christian conservatives. If they actually watched the show they would have realized it wasn't making fun of Christians and that it made some very good points. But, that is just my opinion.
The central premise of the show was that Amanda (Leslie Bibb) is moving back to Texas to live with her over bearing mother Gigi (Annie Potts) after her husband dies in a car crash biting off more then he can chew. Amanda was the mean girl in high school and all of the girls she picked on our out to ruin her life. This includes Carlene Cockburn (Kristen Chenoweth), Cricket Caruth-Reilly (Miriam Shor), and Sharon Peacham (Jennifer Aspen). There's also sweet darling Heather Cruz (Marisol Nichols) who can't find a man, but she's not really pitted against anyone.
For the record Cricket does not have herpes.
Amanda despite the fact that she is living with her mother refuses to let her pay for things, and ends up working at Boobylicious as a waitress. To the scandal of the entire church set- and her mother. This show was dirt. This show was high stakes drama and humor. It was great.
What ABC kept forgetting is that Sunday nights are a tough time slot. They cancellled the next two shows they put in the 10/9 central time slot, because they got worse ratings then GCB. Of course I shamelessly watched both of them. 666 Park Avenue was great. Vanessa Williams was in it. That's all you need to know. It's about a creepy apartment run by the devil and Vanessa Williams was in it. Need I say more.
The next show they replaced that with was Red Widow. To be honest I only saw the first episode, and not even the whole thing. The show was not that good. I would have been thoroughly irritated if they cancelled GCB for this show. Its been two years, but ABC needs to bring GCB back. The problem I feel now is that all of these women are not just sitting around waiting for roles.
These people have other jobs. We couldn't get the original cast back together and there would be no point, then. I want it back so badly. You need to watch it, even if it's just for Cricket's gay husband Blake. Mark Deklin embodies sex. Swooning right here.
The women of this show are attractive. But, Blake. Oh, dear god. I can't even. Also, I realize the show ended on a “cliff hanger”. Yes and no. Only one thing wasn't resolved. But, we have all watched TV enough to know what the end result was going to be. This is a spoiler I suppose, but the world saw it coming. Amanda kisses the very hot pastor while they're in Mexico. That is the one thing that is unresolved.
At the same time. If season two had happened they would have tried to hide their love, eventually dated, decided it was too complicated, and somewhere near the end of season 8 finally realized they loved each other all along and gotten married. That's what would have happened.
Side note: GCB was inspired by the similarly titled book by Kim Gaitlin. The show is a loose interpretation of the book and its not my favorite book by a long stretch, however it is a good fun quick little read. So, that's definitely something to check out if you like the show.
Greta Garbo, and Monroe