- June 2022
Image by Nothing Ahead from Pexels
Clearing my schedule to watch the televised January 6th hearings. Check listings. I promise to finally stop complaining about the finale of "Lost" if this new show ends the way we all know it should.
- May 2022
After 19 seasons, the final episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" aired today. DeGeneres spoke of how attitudes toward LGBTQ people have changed in that period.
"Twenty years ago when we were trying to sell the show, no one thought that this would work," said the out lesbian. "Not because it was a different kind of show, but because I was different."
She recalled, "When we started the show, I couldn't say 'gay' on the show."
Over in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis observed, "That was such a fine tradition we nostalgia-loving Floridians decided to resurrect it."
- April 2022
On his daily show, televangelist and felon Jim Bakker mentioned Florida's Don't Say Gay law, and went on to claim that, when it comes to controversial social issues, preachers aren't "going to be able to preach much longer, because they'll shoot us in the pulpit. They will kill us in our pulpits. You don't believe me? They're already doing it."
I missed the memo. I went to church today and didn't give my minister so much as a noogie.
While on the elliptical machine at the gym yesterday afternoon, I noticed that the offerings on the bank of televisions far in front of me included a soap opera.
I couldn't hear the show or read the captions, but this is what seemed to happen: As a straight couple, about to be married, stood in front of seated guests, a middle-aged man in a designer outfit made a grand, self-absorbed entrance. He, apparently, was to marry a man in a subdued tux who also stood in front of the guests. A woman, presumably having been jilted by one of the gay men, rose from her seat to object, but wound up giving her blessing. Then everything calmed down—until a drag queen crashed, and made what must've been an accusatory speech full of revelations, judging by the guilty look on the face of the gay fashion plate. The drag queen finished stealing the spotlight by handing her purse to someone to hold, namely the completely ignored bride-to-be.
It feels like just yesterday that a single same-sex kiss on a soap opera was national news. I have no idea when soaps turned into "La Cage aux Folles."
- March 2022
Yesterday evening, as I watched the NCAA women's basketball tournament on TV, I assumed I was tuned in to the most lesbionic viewing option of the night.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I read that, over on another channel, the Academy Awards had been busy going sapphic.
In her acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for best supporting actress, Ariana DeBose said,
As she sought to inspire others, the first queer woman of color to win an Oscar invoked famous lyrics from her movie that were written by a beloved gay man who died four months ago. The nation must've been awash in rainbow tears last night.
Kristen Stewart didn't take the Oscar for playing Princess Diana in "Spencer," but she strode the red carpet with her female fiance, Dylan Meyer. Also tripping the carpet fantastic were wife and wife Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts.
Out comedian Wanda Sykes was one of three women to host the show. In a shot at Florida's Don't Say Gay bill, Sykes opened with, "We’re going to have a great night tonight—and for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night,” and she and her co-hosts broke into choruses of "gay, gay, gay."
- February 2022
- January 2022
There was a lot to like about Amy Schneider's long run on "Jeopardy."
She was openly transgender. She became the winningest woman in the history of the show. She confessed she founded her high school debate club largely so she could put it on her college applications.
"The best part for me has been being on TV as my true self," Schneider said in an interview. "Expressing myself, representing the entire community of trans people and . . . just being a smart, confident woman doing something super normal like being on 'Jeopardy!'"
I agree that the game show itself is super normal, super mainstream. But anyone who goes on it as a contestant and is able to, first, think, and second, convince her lips to say "Who is Benazir Bhutto?" isn't super normal. She's just super.
Washington Post columnist Monica Hesse wrote that Schneider "shared her whole self, and this was her tremendous, generous gift to America. She would not allow the country to think of her merely as a transgender woman or merely as a "Jeopardy!" champion. Instead, with little fanfare, she made sure the two identities were linked. To the viewing public of a country that still regularly dehumanizes transgender individuals — via humiliating bathroom bills, via harmful stereotypes, via disgraceful statistics related to homelessness, poverty, sexual assault — Schneider was relentlessly human."
So relentlessly human she has a cat named Meep.
My favorite part of the Schneider story might be that she was dethroned by a gay man. Two members of the queer community matched wits on America's televisions, and the whole scene was . . . super normal.
Again, if you consider normal a person who, under all that pressure, comes up with the only country in the world whose name, in English, ends with an "H." Rhone Talsma correctly answered Bangladesh.
I would've answered Swedenish.
In honor of Betty White's 100th birthday yesterday, a TV station in Orlando posted an unusual weather map.
Rose, N.Y., was expecting snow. Dorothy, Ark., would likely reach a high of 54 degrees. Blanche, Tenn., would be lucky to top 50 degrees. And Sophia, W.Va., would barely be above freezing.
If you don't get it, you'll never be allowed to live in Gay, Ga.
- November 2021
In addition to naming a Sexiest Man Alive each year, People magazine also releases several lists of sexiest men, presumably on the theory that you can't have too much of a good thing.
The 2021 list of the 25 sexiest men on TV includes "911: Lone Star" actor Brian Michael Smith. Never before has a transgender man been included on one of People's sexiest men lists.
"I've been called many things, this is a first," quipped Smith on social media. "Big love to People for the historic shout-out."
Now that Smith has broken this barrier of mainstream acceptance, he gets to experience the same thing as all the cisgender men People has declared sexy: stress over how to stay that way.
- June 2021
Check out what Alan Muraoka, who plays the current owner of Hooper's Store on "Sesame Street," posted yesterday on Facebook.
"'Sesame Street' has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion. So I'm so excited to introduce Nina's Brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street. Our Family Day episode drops today on HBOMax and on YouTube," wrote Muraoka. "I am so honored and humbled to have co-directed this important and milestone episode. Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our 'Sesame' family. Happy Pride to all!!!!"
What a positive addition. Now maybe we gay folks can stop pressuring Bert and Ernie to come out. They're just not ready.
- April 2021
Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels
I've mentioned before that I'd rather swim with piranhas and Donald Trump Jr. than watch reality TV.
So I had no idea who Colton Underwood was until yesterday when news of his coming out as gay seemed to be everywhere. Now the star of the 23rd season of "The Bachelor" is getting his own reality show on Netflix, apparently about living his life as a gay man.
Geez, if we could all monetize our coming out, most of us would've done it a lot sooner.
Anyway, I'll give the last word to another well-known and gay TV figure. When the Underwood news broke yesterday, Andy Cohen tweeted "You’re free now, @colton. A toaster is on its way."
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