Tag: Queer

‘Queer as Folk’ is coming back / Queerty

‘Queer as Folk’ is coming back / Queerty

Stephen Dunn

Cheers, queers: streaming service Peacock has announced it will move forward with a full series order for a reboot of Queer as Folk.

The Hollywood Reporter now reports that Stephen Dunn, noted for directing an episode of the anthology series Little America, will executive produce and reimagine the project under the watchful eye of Russell T. Davies, the man responsible for the original British series in 1999. This new version–also unrelated to the Showtime reboot that debuted in 2000–will examine the lives of a group of queer friends living in New Orleans. Dunn has worked to develop the project since 2018.

Related: Queer As Folk cast reunite online this week for COVID-19 fundraiser

“It is a surreal honor to adapt the notoriously groundbreaking series by Russell T. Davies,” Dunn said in a statement. “When the show originally aired, the idea of unapologetic queer stories on TV was so provocative that I felt I could only watch Queer as Folk in secret. But so much has changed in the last 20 years and how wonderful would it be if the next generation didn’t have to watch Queer as Folk alone in their dank basements with the sound muted, but with their family and friends and the volume cranked all the way to the max.”

Peacock has commissioned an eight-episode season for the new show, though no release date has been announced of yet.

Both the original UK version of Queer as Folk and its US reboot earned wide acclaim for their groundbreaking depiction of LGBTQ characters and queer life. The UK series ran for eight episodes plus a two-part wrap-up movie, while the US series ran five seasons. Original series creator Russell T. Davies caused a stir with the release of another queer-themed series, It’s a Sin, earlier this year.

Queer Horoscopes for April 2021: Where Can You Find Your Fire?

Queer Horoscopes for January 2021

We’re in the season where every day new plants burst into exuberant life, bright leaves popping on stately old trees as the sap rises. Aries season pulls us out of winter hibernation, and this particular month brings a different kind of hope. For some in the US and a handful of other countries, the vaccine rollout is offering a promise of increased movement, connection, and ease in the coming months. Many are daring to dream of an end to the painful separations that have marked the last thirteen months. For others across the world, that reality still seems distant. Meanwhile, the countless fractures and tragedies we’ve witnessed over the past year are far from healed. The world we could create in the aftermath of this crisis is one of the major astrological themes of this year. Meanwhile, we as a collective are learning to think of ourselves collectively, which begins with the capacity to hold both joy and grief at the same time instead of just turning inward and shutting down.

This year and the years to come call for dramatic reversals, renewals, and reimaginings of how we can all live on this earth together. This month stimulates our desires—Aries is a sign that wants what it wants, when it wants it. Can this inherently selfish impulse can be harnessed for the greater good? Aries is traditionally seen as self-centered, survival-oriented, and can be impatient. Sound familiar? A long crisis brings out that survival-oriented flavor Aries energy in all of us (if we’re in touch with our desires at all). This month, I invite you to welcome your impatience in and begin a conversation with it.

Impatience is always about how our desires clash with the limitations of reality. If we maintain the strength of our desires at all costs, we can act recklessly. I’m reminded of an acquaintance who got an STI diagnosis but had a hot date lined up that night, and wanted reassurance they could keep the date, have sex, and not disclose their infection (clearly we all said, no, of course not!). Impatience can lead to unethical behavior with bad consequences for more than just ourselves. There are reasons patience is praised as a virtue while impatience is something we try to restrain.

And yet.

Sometimes impatience is vital and necessary—like when genocidal and soul-crushing systems have held power for several hundred years. When your actual survival and the survival of your loved ones is at stake. When the status quo is robbing future generations of a habitable planet. In this case, Aries energy offers us the revolutionary courage to upend the status quo and fight for a better world.

And yet.

There are a handful of ideas floating around about what “a better world” might look like and many of them rely on paranoid conspiracy theories. Millions of people believe that a cabal of politicians are stealing eating children, which is a new spin on a very old anti-semitic conspiracy (just Google “blood libel”), and that white supremacist hero Donald Trump is some kind of messiah. And the astrology of this month is a bit of a powder keg. So notice what you’re scared of right now and what you’re willing to fight for, and ask yourself: Who do I consider my people? Am I willing to fight for a better world for people outside that circle? Or am I quick to see anyone who disagrees with me as a dangerous enemy? How do I know what kind of threat I’m facing? Where do I find evidence? Is there counter-evidence? What if more collaboration is possible? From global struggles to interpersonal tiffs, this is a month that’s bringing us face-to-face with our impatience, our fears, and how we use power. If you find yourself in a high-stakes struggle right now, be willing to look at your own beliefs, your own tactics, and your own shadow side.

Apart from the more thorny energies, this is also a month that can revitalize, re-energize, and motivate us all to pursue our desires. If you’ve been stuck in lockdown a long time, if you’re still stuck in lockdown, if you’re exhausted and emotionally shut down—do what you can this month to find your fire, to reconnect to your desire for the lusciousness of life. Aries is the sap of springtime, rising up through the frozen ground. Tap into your own life force, spend some time with your feet on the earth, remember that you are not alone.

This is a time we are living through, my friends! Reach out for a reading if you want to talk more about how to navigate it. And for more astro insight including a monthly podcast, join me on Patreon!

Stylized image of the Aries symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Aries

Find your fire: Trust that stirring in your heart that’s telling you where to find your next adventure. Trust your body’s need for movement. Trust that what you feel most passionate about is worth your full presence and attention. Trust that you are becoming who you need to be by noticing what you love. Move your body in ways that remind you of your power.

Stylized image of the Taurus symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Taurus

Find your fire: Welcome a slow simmer of warmth instead of a blazing fire. Trust that you have untapped reserves of energy, waiting for the right occasion. Trust that the changes you sorely need will happen, are already in process, even if you can’t see them yet. Trust your dreams, your fantasies, and your sources of inspiration. Trust that you can slow down when you need to. Welcome your body into this new season by moving in ways that reconnect you to joy.

Stylized image of the Gemini symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Gemini

Find your fire: Welcome your strong love for your community. Welcome a wider perspective. Trust that spark of inspiration that catches you and lights you up. Trust your most naïve and hopeful utopian desires. Trust that conflict can expose truths we need to hear. Trust that conflict can transform communities without breaking them. Trust that each voice in a group has something important to add. Welcome the desires, the loneliness, the grief lurking beneath the surface when conflict arises. Lean into the love that exists despite it all.

Stylized image of the Cancer symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Cancer

Find your fire: Welcome your future, yourself as an elder, the world you have helped to create. Trust your intuition about what will get you toward that desired world. Trust the wisdom of what you’ve learned from the worst year of your life (whether that was this past year or any other). Trust that you have the answers you need. Trust that you can lead others forward. Welcome the responsibility of standing in your own integrity, even when it would feel easier and safer to fold. Trust that you won’t be alone.

Stylized image of the Leo symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Leo

Find your fire: Welcome your aching longing to reconnect to a larger world. Welcome what connects you now, even imperfectly. Trust that you haven’t forgotten how to be inspired. Trust that there will be more stories to tell in the future. Trust that it’s better to feel heartbroken about the world than to fall out of love with the world. Welcome the part of you that knows what you do next, and watch them go.

Stylized image of the Virgo symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Virgo

Find your fire: Welcome the healing that comes with finally facing and releasing what hurts. Trust that trauma isn’t your whole story or your only story. Trust that your feelings can move through your body and leave you intact. Welcome what’s changing in your heart. Welcome the opportunity to really feel your grief—it ushers in the capacity to really feel your joy. Trust that intimacy has many beginnings and many endings, and that each ending is also a beginning.

Stylized image of the Libra symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Libra

Find your fire: Welcome conversations that dip deep below the surface. Trust the boundaries that keep you connected rather than enmeshed. Trust your choices, and trust you can make new choices if you’re no longer aligned with the old ones. Trust people when they show you who they are. Trust your instincts and your gut sense. Trust what someone who loves you loves about you. Welcome a new balance of self and other—not leaving yourself behind to stay on a team, not burning any bridges when you need to center yourself.

Stylized image of the Scorpio symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Scorpio

Find your fire: Welcome the messy imperfections and minor adjustments of real-life love. Trust what your body relaxes into, even if your mind is looking for reasons never to trust. Trust that you know how to heal if you get hurt again. Trust your instinct for noticing the details others miss. Trust your insights, especially when they point to imbalance of power. Trust that real devotion exists and is quiet, consistent, and matter of fact. Trust your distrust of showier, louder declarations. Welcome love that heals you quietly, consistently, and without a lot of fuss.

Stylized image of the Sagittarius symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Sagittarius

Find your fire: Welcome levity, laughter, and completely and joyously wasting your time. Trust your impulse to play, to flirt, to create, to take a break from anything and everything goal-oriented. Trust what helps you feel that special sense of wonder that reminds you of being a small child, curious about something. Unlearn cynicism for a little while. Trust that it’s okay to take a nap. Trust your desire to be seen, cherished, and validated. Welcome (and request) compliments, affection, and appreciation in all forms.

Stylized image of the Capricorn symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Capricorn

Find your fire: Welcome gentleness and slowness. Trust your desire to do less, to stay in, to root down, to find safety. Trust your impulse to plan and structure and stay busy, but direct all that energy toward your private world. Make your own comfort and pleasure as important as the work you do for the world. Trust your desire to be witnessed. Risk being witnessed. Trust that a little vulnerability won’t undo a lifetime of competence. Welcome tenderness. Welcome what will restore you.

Stylized image of the Aquarius symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Aquarius

Find your fire: Welcome a fresh perspective. Trust that the truth is stranger than you know. Trust that the world can surprise and delight you. Trust your desire to talk it out, to debate, to holler, to hum. Trust the words that come to you, even if they’re stranger than you expect. Let the familiar become new. Let your worldview expand to include the here and now. Welcome a way of seeing your life where you are one node in the center of a network where everyone else is their own center node, but you still get to be in your center.

Stylized image of the Pisces symbol over an abstract freeform purple shape

Pisces

Find your fire: Welcome a way forward. Trust that there’s solid ground beneath you. Trust your resilience, your resources, and your capacity to rest if you need to. Trust that you deserve what is reliable, sustainable, slow-growing, and trustworthy. Trust your sense of self-protection. Trust your readiness to connect. Welcome what you’re ready to claim and hold onto.

Demi Lovato Is Pansexual, Feeling Good About Queer as a Label Too

Demi Lovato Is Pansexual, Feeling Good About Queer as a


Good afternoon, friends and foes! Have you taken Riese’s Which L Word Character Are You? quiz yet? It is very popular! Most of our staff got Jenny, if you can believe it, and I got Dana! It’s not a 1:1 match for me, but I do love sports and my cats.


+ Hey speaking of sports, Megan Rapinoe is using her platform to speak out against these hateful and ridiculous bills targeting trans teens who want access to the locker rooms and teams that match their gender. She also hit up the White House with Margaret Purce last week on Equal Pay Day, after testifying about gender discrimination before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Carmen has more in Also.Also.Also!

+ Related:

+ Demi Lovato kind of likes “pansexual” as a label.

+ Miriam Margolyes, known mostly to you as Professor Sprout, absolutely did some sexy voice acting before Harry Potter. (It was exhausting.)

+ Kristen Stewart’s latest foray into Princess Diana’s iconic looks while filming Spencer.

+ Ashley Benson talks about the struggles of being in the public eye and dealing with paparazzi.

+ Disney+’s National Treasure reboot will feature a Latinx lead.

+ Margaret Cho talked on her podcast about feeling like a target during the current rise of anti-Asian racism in the U.S.

+ New details about the bisexual lead in the new Life Is Strange game.

+ Genera+ion co-creator Zelda Barnz on wanting to do right by Gen Z and the queer community.

+ Vida‘s Tanya Saracho on queer Latinx representation.

+ Littlewood on Nintendo Switch review: a charming, queer life sim that Stardew Valley fans will love.

+ BBC’s Line of Duty dials up the lesbian tension and queer fans can’t cope.

+ Chyler Leigh is heading back to Grey’s Anatomy.

+ TV Line’s performer of the week is Genius: Aretha star Cynthia Erivo.

+ Batwoman‘s Black Mask has plans for Kate Kane, and they are pretty horrifying.

+ Dear Montero, Lil Nas X has called your name with love.

+ There was a lot more to Jessica Walter than martini GIFS.

Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She’s a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1114 articles for us.

Russell T Davies is hopeful for Queer as Folk reboot

The original Queer as Folk cast.

Queer as Folk ran for two seasons, the first episode airing on February 23, 1999. (Channel 4)

Russell T Davies has said he is hopeful for a reboot of his iconic series Queer as Folk, even if he won’t be the one to write it.

Following the runaway success of It’s a Sin, which was so popular it broke All 4 streaming records and drove a 91 per cent increase in viewership, Davies has spoken about the possibility of reviving the 1990s queer classic.

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter whether he would be involved in the project, Davies confirmed that Closet Monster director Stephen Dunn would be the one to write a Queer as Folk reboot.

He said: “Stephen Dunn has the rights to Queer as Folk and I hope he gets it made.

“We’ve read the scripts and I gave a few notes. I hope it happens, but it’s not my show anymore and I’m happy to hand it over.

“I don’t think I should be, sitting here at my age, revamping my old property. I think that’s a bit sad.”

Davies said that when he left Doctor Who, he vowed to only work on gay drama, and continued: “I did Banana and Cucumber and Tofu, and then I did the gayest production for A Midsummer Night’s Dream for BBC One that you’ll ever see.

“Then I did Years and YearsA Very English Scandal and now It’s a Sin. I’ve reached the end of that cycle, if I have cycles. I now think whatever I write will be gay.

“Maybe it doesn’t need to be aggressively queer content, but it’s queer because I’m making it. I don’t know where that’s leading but I will find out.”

Davies, who has been outspoken since It’s a Sin’s release about his commitment to casting LGBT+ actors in LGBT+ roles, also explained why he didn’t feel this was possible when casting the original Queer as Folk.

He said: “It wasn’t possible. With hindsight, you think, should we have made more effort? Because out gay actors did exist then, but again, out gay lead actors, it’s a great fallacy to presume all actors are the same.

“You can’t point to an actor and say he’s out, that doesn’t mean they’re a lead actor. It’s my job as a program maker to make programs modern.

“To feel like they’re made in 2021. To get that energy. To get authenticity. I would be failing if I didn’t.”

14 Famous Queer Ladies Who Came Out Later In Life

14 Famous Queer Ladies Who Came Out Later In Life

The “late-in life lesbian” narrative bucks a lot of assumptions people make about the coming out experience. The traditional lesbian narrative goes something like this: in girlhood, the protagonist encounters a series of “signs” that suggest homosexuality is afoot. The protagonist feels nothing for boys, and so many things for girls, usually culminating in a crush on a straight best friend during adolescence. Often, intolerant parents and friends will encourage the protagonist to be straight, thus repressing the protagonist’s desire. Usually by the time the protagonist graduates high school, the question isn’t if they wanted to live the life of a lez, but when they’d have the chance to start living the life of a lez. Even the coming out stories I knew in popular culture — Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell, Melissa Etheridge — tended to be people who always knew, and often lived gay lives, but were careful about when they revealed that information to the public. My own journey just wasn’t that clear-cut, and I’m certainly not alone in that.

This list is about women who didn’t fall for another woman or realize they were queer until a little later in life — not women who were consciously in the closet for most of their lives.  It’s complicated to determine, with celebrities, who falls into this category, because they have an extra step that the rest of us don’t — there’s family, friends, work… and then the ENTIRE F*CKING WORLD. The list of celebrities who came out to the world as adults because they weren’t ready when they were younger is a very long one, including Robin Roberts, Jodie Foster, Joanna Johnson and Krissy McNichol.

This list is women who were over 35 by the time they not only came out to the ENTIRE F*CKING WORLD, but also by the time they came out to themselves or their family or even knew they were queer or liked women at all.

This post about famous women who came out to themselves and us over the age of 30 was originally published in 2014 and has been updated in 2021.


1. Jenna Lyons, Executive Creative Director of J. Crew

LOS ANGELES, CA. November 14, 2016: J.Crew president Jenna Lyons at the Glamour Magazine 2016 Women of the Year Awards at NeueHouse, Hollywood. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

LOS ANGELES, CA. November 14, 2016: J.Crew president Jenna Lyons at the Glamour Magazine 2016 Women of the Year Awards at NeueHouse, Hollywood.

I was finding myself really attracted to this person, and yes, we had kissed, and maybe some other things had happened, but I wasn’t like, “Okay, I’m gay!” I was just as surprised as the world was. I still don’t know: Am I gay, am I bi? I don’t know if it really matters.

Former J.Crew President and Creative Director and current fashion icon / entrepreneur Jenna Lyons was married to Vincent Mazeau for nine years, and after their divorce, Lyons fell in love with Courtney Crangi, the sister and business partner of jewler Philip Crangi, and the relationship became public knowledge in 2011. In 2013, when Lyons was 44, she publicly acknowledged her relationship with Crangi in her Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year acceptance speech. They split in 2017.


2. Meredith Baxter, Actress

LOS ANGELES - APR 24: Meredith Baxter at The 42nd Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Gala at the Universal Hilton Hotel on April 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

LOS ANGELES – APR 24: Meredith Baxter at The 42nd Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Gala at the Universal Hilton Hotel on April 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California

I am a lesbian, and it was a later-in-life recognition. I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was that kind of awakening. I never fought it because it was like, oh, I understand why I had the issues I had early in life. I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships.”

Famous Family Ties actress Meredith Baxter came out to herself in 2002 (and to us in 2009, thus “joining a group of later-in-life lesbians“), after three marriages and a brief lesbian affair in 1996 that she didn’t take seriously at the time. She was married to Robert Lewis Bush, with whom she had two children, from 1966-1971, and then married David Birney in 1974, and had three children with him, including twins. They divorced in 1989. Her third marriage, to actor Michael Blodgett, spanned from 1995-2000. She began dating her now-partner, Nancy Locke, in 2005, and rumors began swirling about her sexuality after she appeared on a Sweet Cruise in November 2009. She told The Today Show that it was a same-sex relationship in 2002 that changed her everything: “It was that kind of awakening. I never fought it because it was like, oh, I understand why I had the issues I had early in life. I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships.” She married Nancy Locke in 2013, and they’re still together.


3. Carlease Burke, Actress

LOS ANGELES - JAN 13: Carlease Burke at the NBCUniversal TCA Press Day Winter 2016 at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 13, 2016 in Pasadena, CA

LOS ANGELES – JAN 13: Carlease Burke at the NBCUniversal TCA Press Day Winter 2016 at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 13, 2016 in Pasadena, CA (by Kathy Hutchins)

“I knew what a lesbian was, but there were no role models. I was raised in the black Baptist church, and there were gay guys who were choir directors, but they weren’t talked about. Deep down inside, I’d think that’s who I am, but I didn’t have the nerve to pursue that. All along I had lesbian and gay friends, but I couldn’t see myself going down that route due to fear. I started meeting more women while working as a comic, met a young lady in 1994 who caught my eye. It didn’t end up being a good relationship, but I grew up a lot … I started being more free and flirty in comedy clubs. From that moment on, it gave me a lot to talk about.”

Carleease Burke has been out for over two decades, but as a young person, she didn’t see herself pursuing a lesbian life. She got her first role, in a TV movie, in 1989, and has been working as an actress ever since. In 1994, she met a special lady, and thus at the age of 40, in her first relationship, she came out to her mother. She told AfterEllen in 2007 that she felt “25 in dyke years, because I came out so late.” Burke recently played Ms. Rose on Switched at Birth, you may also recognize her from In Her Shoes, Get Shorty, Shameless and pretty much every TV show, ever. Seriously, she has been in every single TV show ever.


4. Kelly McGillis, Actress

Kelly McGillis at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time" in Hollywood, California, United States on May 17, 2010. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

Kelly McGillis at the Los Angeles Premiere of “Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time” in Hollywood, California, United States on May 17, 2010.

“Life is a freaking journey, and it’s about growing and changing, and coming to terms with who and what you are, and loving who and what you are.”

Julliard graduate Kelly McGillis was an enormously successful actress in the ’80s, memorably starring opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun and playing leading roles in Witness and The Accused. She married a fellow Julliard student, Boyd Black, in 1979, but they divorced in 1981. She had two children with millionaire Fred Tillman, who she was married to from 1989-2002. They co-owned a bar in Key West where she met her eventual partner, Melanie Leis, in 2000. In 2009, she came out in an interview with SheWired, and her and Leis entered into a civil union in 2010 which was dissolved in 2011. McGillis now teaches acting in Asheville, North Carolina.


5. Cynthia Nixon, Actress

Christine Marinoni & Cynthia Nixon attend 49th annual New York pride parade along 7th avenue

New York, NY – June 24, 2018: Christine Marinoni & Cynthia Nixon attend 49th annual New York pride parade along 7th avenue

I never felt like there was an unconscious part of me around that woke up or that came out of the closet; there wasn’t a struggle, there wasn’t an attempt to suppress. I met this woman, I fell in love with her, and I’m a public figure.”

Actress / activist / politician Cynthia Nixon and her long-time partner, Danny Mozes, with whom she’d had two children, split up in 2003, and then Nixon met Christine Marinoni, a public-school advocate. Nixon fell in love, and then, around the same time her landmark television series Sex and the City was wrapping up, rumors began flying. They married in 2012.


7. Carol Leifer, Comedian, Writer & Actress

Carol Leifer at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA 02-19-12

Carol Leifer at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA 02-19-12

I’m finding, especially with women, a couple of different kinds of gays. I’ve met people who say, “I knew I was gay my whole life, and I lived this lie, and then I finally came out.” My kind of gay is like the late-breaking-lesbian kind of gay. I mean, I was attracted to boys. My first crush was on Davy Jones. My kind of gay, meeting a woman and falling in love, is a different experience because it wasn’t anything about “Oh, I’ve always been gay and I’m breaking the chains.” The whole experience spun me around. I really thought this was going to be a fun fling, and I had no idea that it would become this finding my soul mate, the love-of-my-life sort of deal. It does make you feel reticent about talking about it at the beginning because you’re not sure if it’s real, if it’s going to stick.

Leifer only dated men until she met her now-partner, Lori Wolf, at the age of 40. In fact, Leifer quite famously dated Jerry Seinfeld before the show and was not only an inspiration for the character of Elaine, but eventually joined the show’s writing team. Leifer has been doing stand-up for decades, writes for The Academy Awards, and was involved in shoes including The Ellen Show and The Larry Sanders Show. She’s also written two books, When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win, in which she discusses her relationships, and How to Succeed In Business Without Really Crying.


8. Wanda Sykes, Comedian & Actress

LOS ANGELES - AUG 29: Wanda Sykes arrives at the 2010 Emmy Awards at Nokia Theater at LA Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

LOS ANGELES – AUG 29: Wanda Sykes arrives at the 2010 Emmy Awards at Nokia Theater at LA Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA

“I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay. We are so together now and we all want the same thing and we shouldn’t have to settle for less.”

Wanda Sykes says she can trace back sneaking suspicions that she might be a total homo to childhood, but she repressed those emotions and didn’t start confronting them after her 1998 divorce from record producer Dave Hall, who she’d been married to for seven years. She came out to her parents at age 40 and four years later, in 2008, came out to the world at a same-sex marriage rally. She married her partner Alex, who she met in 2006, in 2008, before Prop 8 passed. They have two children.


9. Maria Bello, Actress

Maria Bello in a green dress at a red carpet event in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – OCT 14: Maria Bello arrives for the ELLE Women in Hollywood on October 14, 2019 in Westwood, CA

46-year old actress and activist Maria Bello had a soul-searching moment reading old journals in her garden, which she described for a New York Times‘ Modern Love column in December 2013, when she realized that her long-time best friend, Claire Munn, was somebody she could love romantically. “What had I been waiting for all of these years?” Bello wondered. “She is the person I like being with the most, the one with whom I am most myself.” Bello described her new “modern family” in “Modern Love” which included a close friendship with her ex, TV Executive Dan McDermott, who is the father of her son. In 2019, she got engaged to French chef Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in the U.S. to attain three Michelin stars.


10. Niecy Nash

LOS ANGELES - JUL 11: Niecy Nash at the Niecy Nash honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA

LOS ANGELES – JUL 11: Niecy Nash at the Niecy Nash honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA

“I was not suppressing my sexuality my whole life. I love who I love. At one point in my life, I married twice and I love those people. And today I love this person. I’ve done everything I wanted to do on my own terms and my own way. So my choice now in a partner has nothing to do with who I’ve always been. It’s a matter of who I am in this moment.”

2020’s sole highlight was 49-year-old actress / comic / TV host Niecy Nash marrying Jessica Betts, who she’d been friends with since 2015, when she was still married to her now-ex Jay Tucker. About 4.5 years into their friendship, after her divorce from Tucker, they went out to eat crabs and she realized over shellfish that she had stronger feelings for Betts. “I loved her before I was in love with her because she is such a special human being. But we began to see each other in a way we never had before.” Nash has chosen not to label herself, but is proud to call Betts her hersband.


11. Elizabeth Gilbert

NEW YORK - JANUARY 05: Author Elizabeth Gilbert signing her book 'Committed' at Barnes&Noble bookstore on JANUARY 05, 2010 in New York City. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

NEW YORK – JANUARY 05: Author Elizabeth Gilbert signing her book ‘Committed’ at Barnes&Noble bookstore on JANUARY 05, 2010 in New York City.

Novelist and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert came out on Facebook in 2016 at the age of 47, announcing that she was in love with and in a relationship with her best friend of 15 years, Rayya Ellis, having realized her feelings for Elias following Elias’s terminal cancer diagnosis. They had a commitment ceremony prior to Ellis’s passing in 2018.


12. Glennon Doyle

“…what if I demand freedom not because I was ‘born this way’ and ‘can’t help it’ but because I can do whatever I choose to do with my love and my body.”

Author and activist Glennon Doyle met soccer player Abby Wambach in November 2016 while Doyle was on a book tour, and still married to her now ex-husband, Craig. She and Wambach got together, shacked up and got married more or less immediately, and they’re still going strong!


13. Lauren Morelli

LOS ANGELES - APR 25: Samira Wiley, Lauren Morelli at the Premiere Of Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" at Cinerama Dome ArcLight on April 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

LOS ANGELES – APR 25: Samira Wiley, Lauren Morelli at the Premiere Of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” at Cinerama Dome ArcLight on April 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA

Despite “being 31 years old, having lived in extremely liberal cities for 13 years of my life and considering myself an educated individual,” screenwriter/director Lauren Morelli didn’t realize she was gay until her first season as a writer on Orange is the New Black. She recalls feeling like “if I was really gay, I would have known when I was younger. There was a prescribed narrative, and everything about my own story challenged the accepted one.” She is now happily married to our beloved Samira Wiley.


14. Stacy London

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: Stacy London attends the Launch Party of Sally Kohn's new book 'The Opposite Of Hate' at Guggenheim Museum on April 6, 2018 in New York City. She came out as a late in life lesbian.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 06: Stacy London attends the Launch Party of Sally Kohn’s new book ‘The Opposite Of Hate’ at Guggenheim Museum on April 6, 2018 in New York City.

In 2020, former “What Not to Wear” co-host and current “fashion maven” Stacy London announced that she is in a relationship with musician Cat Yezbak, and that it was her first serious relationship with a woman. “So I used to date men,” she said in her Instagram post about the relationship. “Now I date her. That’s it. That’s all I have to say. Happy New Year to each and every one of you.”


Pop Culture Fix: A New Star-Crossed Queer Love Vampire Show Is on the Way at Netflix

Pop Culture Fix: A New Star-Crossed Queer Love Vampire Show


Whomst among us has a recommendation for a favorite sleep mask? Your friendly neighborhood soft butch is in the market for one! She also made you this Wednesday Pop Culture Fix.


+ Netflix’s new YA vampire series, First Kill, has a tagline that looks like something out of a fanfic I would click on immediately. Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis are headlining.

In it, when it’s time for teenage vampire Juliette (Hook) to make her first kill so she can take her place among a powerful vampire family, she sets her sights on a new girl in town named Calliope (Lewis). But much to Juliette’s surprise, Calliope is a vampire hunter, from a family of celebrated slayers. Both find that the other won’t be so easy to kill and, unfortunately, way too easy to fall for…

+ Niecy Nash chatted with Ellen about her “hersband” and how her daughter helped her try to find a label to fit her.

+ Riverdale actor Lili Reinhart is challenging bisexual sterotypes with her latest tweets.

+ Ruby Rose says she’d be happy to guest star in the Arrowverse.

+ Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trans milestone.

+ Angela Robinson has inked a big overall deal with Warner Bros.

+ CBS has already renewed Queen Latifah’s Equalizer for a second season.

+ Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, and Yana Perrault are the live-action Powerpuff Girls.

+ The Prom‘s Caitlin Kinnunen and Bella Ortiz will play “millennial nun leads” in a new CW series.

+ Josie Totah says making Moxie made her feel less alone.

+ Lena Waithe partners with Def Jam to start up Hillman Grad Records.


Support Independent Queer Media

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She’s a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1109 articles for us.

Ella Hunt is ‘queer and happy’ thanks in part to Dickinson

Ella Hunt and Hailee Steinfeld wearing top hats and period garbs in front of a window

Ella Hunt and Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson. (Apple TV+)

Actor Ella Hunt clarified that she “loves women” after her coming out as “queer and happy” was questioned by fans.

The 22-year-old, who plays Sue Gilbert on the series about poet Emily Dickinson, opened up about how she defines queerness in an interview with Square Mile.

Hunt spoke about finding herself when she moved from Devon, England, to New York, US, for the role on Dickinson.

“Maybe that combination of being away from England and working on a show about a female poet who wasn’t understood in her time, such an outwardly queer show that glorifies queerdom, made it less scary to enjoy those elements in myself and explore it in a way that I might not have done if I hadn’t got the show,” she explained.

“I love the term queer,” she continued.

“I don’t think it is specifically about sexuality, I see it as a mindset and feeling empowered in the bizarre and the strange sides of myself.

“I think queer is a beautiful word in that sense. It’s an attitude. That’s how I identify to my friends in New York.”

Ella Hunt wearing a black dress with her hands on her hips
Ella Hunt in Dickinson. (Apple TV+)

Some fans were unsure whether Ella Hunt had meant queer in reference to her sexuality.

But when a reader challenged Hunt’s definition, that queerness is an “attitude”, she clarified that she had “fumbled” her words.

“Being queer isn’t an attitude. I can’t just change being this way like I can my attitude when having a bad day,” the fan wrote.

“I actually completely agree with you,” Hunt responded, “and when the interviewer asked me directly if I was queer I got anxious and fumbled my answer (having not openly talked about my identity for long).”

“I still adore and love you completely,” the fan replied, adding: “I’m sorry. Growing up, being a lesbian was something I was always ashamed of due to church.

“I think that we all have to come to terms with ourselves and live our truth. Even if we’re not ready.”

Hunt wrote: “You don’t need to be sorry at all! I’m so sorry you had such a tough time growing up.

“I am queer and I am happy to be open about it. (I just get all kinds of nervous and fumbly in interviews sometimes).”

And just in case you weren’t sure what she meant, Hunt made things clear in a tweet Dickinson herself would no doubt dub poetry.

 

NASA Named Landing Site after Octavia Butler. One Step Closer to Our Queer Space Colony Dreams!

NASA Named Landing Site after Octavia Butler. One Step Closer

TODAY IS AUTOSTRADDLE’S BIRTHDAY!!! 🎉

Let’s read some things!


Queer as in F*ck You

Ok so first! When I said we were going to read some things, we ARE! GOING! TO! READ! SOME! THINGS! And I have some excellent essays for you!

“I don’t feel like an elder but to have gotten to this place in my life means that I survived and I did so because women who probably didn’t feel like elders when they met me, rose to the occasion.”

Let’s start with this piece from Roxane Gay about coming-of-age in the 90s and finding yourself a queer elder before your 50th birthday absolutely broke me into pieces. I had to physically lay down mid-essay because it was so good and too much. It’s your must read!

And then moving from a legend to a legend-in-our-own-making, the one and only Dani Janae was published in Refinery29 this week and you absolutely need to make this your other must read! How lucky are you:

“I came out as bisexual at 12 years old, after years of sweating when beautiful Black women would come on screen in music videos. The first lesbians I saw had been the lovely, iconic, mostly white, and all thin cast of Showtime’s The L Word. Watching this show, all I could think was: That can’t be me. I don’t look like these women. “

I’m Fat, & That Makes Using Dating Apps Difficult by Dani Janae for Refinery29

And oh what’s that now!?!? Autostraddle writers making big waves everywhere!?!? Get ready for Kayla’s newest entry in what I’m calling her growing collection of devastatingly mean gay girl short stories:

“This is her favorite game. I bet you I could jump over that fence. I bet you I could hit that sign with this peach pit. I bet you I could make you come five times in a row. I bet you I could make that bartender flirt with me. I bet you I could chug this, shotgun that, shoot cheap whiskey without a chaser. I bet you I could swim out to that post in less than two minutes.

I bet you I could kill you out here and get away with it. This one is new.”

Field Games byKayla Kumari Upadhyaya for fugue

AHHHHHH!! Welcome to ‘Octavia E. Butler Landing.’ NASA has named the landing site of the agency’s Perseverance rover “Octavia E. Butler Landing,” after the science fiction author.

Drag Kings Are Ready to Rule. “Blurring gender boundaries has allowed for more freedom in online pageants — and soon, it’s hoped, back in the clubs.”

Torrey Peters (Detransition, Baby — have you read it yet? You should!) Wants a Punk Utopia for Trans Girls and a Cuisinart Mixer

How a Queer and Trans Latinx Gardening Collective Is Working to Reverse Food Insecurity in Atlanta

Trans History You Never Learned in School

The Radical Queerness of Dolly Parton

From Heather: “this is bonkers lesbian music video and i love it so much” Allison Ponthier’s “Cowboy” Video is a Campy Tribute to Her Texan Roots


Saw This, Thought of You

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon Is a Sumptuous Fantasy — but It Makes a Mess of Southeast Asian Culture. Himani highlighted this quote in particular: “Perhaps the biggest tell that Raya isn’t the representation Southeast Asian Disney fans deserve is that many of them won’t actually be able to watch it with the rest of us — because Disney+ is currently only available in three Southeast Asian countries.”

S.P.O.R.T.S! NWSL announces Challenge Cup details

More S.P.O.R.T.S! Fans Can Buy Cutouts for Women’s Final Four. All proceeds go to the Pat Summitt Foundation, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the San Antonio Food Bank.

Queen Sugar and This Is Us, both in their fifth seasons, integrate the pandemic in their scripts. The differences between how they do so highlight the staggering differences in how COVID actually affects white communities and communities of color.” Even Television Is Showing the Racial Disparities of COVID-19

The Pandemic Has Changed Me. but How Will We Collectively Heal? This comic will gut you in the most eloquent, poignant ways.

My God, I love this. I Created ‘Call Your Elders Day’ to Lift Up My Loved Ones


Political Snacks

That’s it! No political snacks today! IT’S OUR BIRTHDAY!! 🎉


Support Independent Queer Media

We’re raising funds to make it through the end of July. 99% of the people who read this site don’t support. Will you be one of the ones who do? Joining A+ is one of the best ways to support Autostraddle — plus you get access to bonus content while keeping the site 99% free for everyone. Will you join today?

Support Autostraddle

Join A+

Queer Parents and Advocates Testify to Update Connecticut Parentage Laws

Queer Parents and Advocates Testify to Update Connecticut Parentage Laws

Connecticut remains the only New England state that leaves children born to non-biological, non-marital parents wholly unprotected in its parentage laws. Queer parents, legal and medical experts, advocates, and others testified today in support of a bill that would change that.

Connecticut Flag

Why Connecticut Parentage Laws Need Updating

Current Connecticut parentage laws treat unmarried, nonbiological parents as legal strangers to their children. They also do not recognize the genetic parent as a legal parent in same-sex couples who use reciprocal IVF (one person’s egg, carried in the other’s womb) without an adoption or court order, and do not offer clear protections to all involved in the surrogacy process.

The Connecticut Parentage Act (CPA; HB 6321) would give nonbiological, unmarried, and same-sex parents clear ways to establish their parentage; set standards to protect parents, child, and surrogate in families formed through surrogacy: and remove gender-specific language from the parentage laws. The CPA, like similar parentage legislation in several other states, is based on model legislation by the Uniform Law Commission, a non-partisan body of state lawmakers, judges, scholars, and lawyers. Last year, a similar bill had a favorable hearing before the Joint Judiciary Committee—four days before the session shut down because of COVID-19. Today, in a new hearing via Zoom, the committee considered this latest attempt to modernize the state’s parentage laws.

Professor Douglas NeJaime of Yale Law School (and also a queer dad), who has led efforts to pass the bill, told the committee that Connecticut was “an extreme outlier” among neighboring states, as all other New England states plus New York have updated their parentage laws to better protect all families. “We know that children do best when their relationships to their parents are legally recognized and secure,” he said. “Yet many children in Connecticut are deprived of that security.”

GLAD Senior Staff Attorney Patience Crozier, who was formerly a family law attorney and is also a nonbiological parent, testified that, “Nothing is more foundational for a child than the security of the parent-child relationship.” She added, “The status quo leaves children truly vulnerable, and this is particularly true for children of LGBTQ parents.” She noted that Connecticut has the second-highest rate of births through assisted reproduction in the country, along with a history of leadership on LGBTQ issues, but current law means that “children are unable to be protected in their most precious relationships.”

Hugh Taylor, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine and president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, put it succinctly: “Connecticut laws do not reflect the ways we build families today.”

Acknowledgements of Parentage

Birth certificates are evidence of parentage, but they do not establish parentage.

Among other provisions, the CPA would allow both married and unmarried same-sex couples, like different-sex couples, to file a simple Acknowledgement of Parentage form to establish a legal parent-child relationship at the time of a child’s birth, without needing a home study or court hearing. NeJaime asserted that under federal law, “the Acknowledgements of Parentage is required to get full faith and credit from other states. That is why same-sex couples in our state would no longer need to adopt their own children.” He explained that while married same-sex couples can both be put on their children’s birth certificates, “birth certificates are evidence of parentage, but they do not establish parentage,” and so they do not get full faith and credit from other states.  (This is why even married same-sex couples have long been advised to do second-parent adoptions even if both parents are on the birth certificate. An Acknowledgement of Parentage form would in theory alleviate the need for second-parent adoptions—but for more about them, see my piece from last August.)

The Impact on Real Families

We are real people and we are here.

The most powerful testimonies of the hearing came from Connecticut queer parents and their children. Stephanie Ocasio-Gonzalez, who is raising a son and daughter with her wife, said she works in the medical field, and COVID-19 has heightened her fears about what would happen to her children if something happened to her, the biological mother. Her wife is on the birth certificate, but that might not always be recognized as proof of parentage. Their son is hers from a previous relationship, but her wife has no legal connection to him, even though the birth father has no part in his life. The CPA would not only secure her wife’s relationship with their daughter, but would provide a process by which she would be legally seen as a de facto parent to their son. “We are real people and we are here,” she told the committee. “Our children’s lives and well-being are the most important thing to us.”

Ashley Taylor, a police officer in Bridgeport, is expecting a child with her fiancée Adriana, after several attempts and a miscarriage. It’s “unbelievably stressful and exhausting” to go through the process of assisted reproduction, she said, and COVID-19 has made her even more fearful about their child having only one legal parent. While they plan to marry, she stated that they shouldn’t have to do so in order to both be legal parents. The CPA, however, would allow them to file a simple form to establish Adriana’s parentage from day one. As police officers, she said, they put their lives on the line to keep their communities safe, and “All that we ask in return is that Connecticut law recognizes our family as legitimate and deserving of respect as any other family.”

Exclusive parentage law sends a message that children like me do not belong.

Malina Simard-Halm, a member of COLAGE, the national organization for those with LGBTQ parents, testified that 25 years ago, “my dads persevered in the face of laws that saw them as unfit to be parents.” When she was born, the men had to go through “a grueling legal process” to give her the protection of both parents. Nevertheless, she said, “Because of my dads, I have grown up in a family that has shown me the meaning of love.” She spoke of the fears that many children now live with if they do not have legal ties to both parents—that they could be separated from a parent in the case of conflict or tragedy, and that in an emergency, the parent could not be there to make decisions for them. “Exclusive parentage law sends a message that children like me do not belong,” she asserted. “The families whom this law protects are not asking for special treatment…. They’re asking to be allowed to participate as equals in perhaps the oldest and happiest activity: to care for and love their own children.”

Emily Pagano and Rachel Prehodka-Spindel spoke with the committee as their toddler sat (or rather, squirmed) with them. They used reciprocal IVF, but Emily is the child’s only legal parent. Rachel is now pregnant and due in June with twins also conceived through RIVF; she will be their only legal parent when they are born, and Emily will not be able to add them to her health insurance. Senator Alex Kasser, one of the bill’s sponsors, told them after their testimony that hopefully the law would pass before the children’s birth in June.

Several other parents, legal experts, and reproductive medicine professionals also testified for the bill, as did Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. Tong told the committee that he thought it was a “no-brainer” and opined, “I think it’s required by law.” Connecticut’s parentage laws are not up to date and “do not conform” with the state’s civil rights laws protecting LGBTQ people and others, he explained.

That’s a strong endorsement—but a lot of effort is still needed to get the bill passed by the full legislature and signed by the governor. To learn how you can help, visit the website of the We Care Coalition that is spearheading the effort for its passage.

Neurodiver is queer cyberpunk in a pixel world

Neurodiver

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver. (Midboss)

Exploring memories is a major theme of much sci-fi media, but it’s at the core of Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, the forthcoming cyberpunk game from LGBT-focused developer MidBoss.

In this world of Neo-San Francisco memories are malleable. Like a hard drive, files can become corrupt, defragmented, or completely overwritten. And with the help of an Esper, forgotten memories can be recovered – for better or worse.

That computer analogy is fitting for a cyberpunk world of machines and androids, humans and animal hybrids. It’s the same world as the developer’s previous game, 2064: Read Only Memories, and follows a similar adventure structure presented through vibrant pixel art. 

As Esper ES88, you’re able to form a psychic link with intelligent lifeforms using the titular Neurodiver: a living, organic machine you can hook up to willing subjects. It’s something like psychotherapy, as both ES88 and the subject re-live memories and piece together clues from the past.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver
Read Only Memories: Neurodiver. (Midboss)

In practice, that means detective work. The game takes the form of a narrative point and click adventure game that has you analysing these environments of the mind, gathering items to repair corrupt memories that appear as glitches. In this PC preview demo, ES88 is tasked with diving into the memories of hybrid Crow, whose memories of a dodgy deal in the past could have implications for the future.

It’s an intriguing setup as ES88’s powers are used by the neurotechnology organisation MINERVA in exchange for her own identity. She’s ultimately tasked with tracking down a rogue Esper wreaking havoc through the mind’s of the city’s inhabitants, but how will that impact her own memories?

The demo we played is a short introduction to the game, but it already shows off the potential of the narrative. The pinks and purples of the pixel art add a fun futuristic edge to the otherwise retro graphics and the synth music is plenty atmospheric.

Fans of the previous game will recognise some returning faces, but for newcomers you can expect a diverse cast of characters in this imaginative cyberpunk world. Midboss are well known for their commitment to representation and inclusion, and the cyberpunk genre is primed for exploring issues of identity.

There’s no release date yet for Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, but it’s definitely a game to keep your eyes out for when it arrives on PC.