Tag Archives: AfterEllen

Lesbians Get Me To Watch Bad Television

10 Jan

ladytragik.com

arifitz.com

The first thing that comes to mind at the utterance of “bad television” is of course reality… I mean “reality” television.  It’s cheap to produce, essentially writes itself,  no complexity, no sets, and there will always be hoards of desperate citizens lining up to audition for their 15 minutes of fame.  What a great business formula.  My first memories of watching reality TV and being completely enthralled lie with Cops, Rescue 911, early American Idol, and of course The Real World.  The only one I’m still very devout to is The Real World and all spinoffs that have born and died i.e. Road Rules and subsequent challenges.  Currently I am watching VH1’s Couples Therapy (shudders in disgust) and The Real World: Ex-plosion because they have resident lesbians and I am weak and cannot resist.

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First on the menu is the lesbian world’s volatile poster-couple Whitney and Sara.  Or is it Sada now?  When did she change that?  Anyway, they’re on television airing out all their dirty button ups.  After the first episode I was just thrilled to seem them on my TV screen.  After the second episode I was ready to throw myself off the nearest elevated point.  Clearly I understood before viewing that Whitey and Sada would not be the focal point of the show, but I don’t think their participation is enough to keep me watching (totally kidding it is).  I am only watching the show because I crave real life lesbians on my television even if it’s through the lens of unsavory VH1 programming.  I will accept the fact that this is no The Real L Word  and there is no lesbian sex, no other lesbians, and will listen to the wild stories brought to me by the other quasi-famous heterosexual couples.  No offense hetero world but the only celebrity heterosexual couple I care about is Beyoncé and Jay Z.  Maybe Whitney and Sada will tell us something we did not already know about their relationship.  Here, have a laugh at AfterEllen’s Couples Therapy recap by Chloë, she’s quite the looker.  Oh and here’s the second episode recap.

arifitz.com

Next on the menu is the delectable main course and she goes by the name Ari Fitz, The Real World’s resident lesbian.  Mind you, as you should know, The Real World is the the origin of reality TV and they did it right.  The show hasn’t always been on my list of crap television.  They used to tell beautiful stories by sticking seven strangers in a house.  Now… exaggerated, alcohol-fueled drama gets the views.  After airing for 22 years I can see how the charm faded.  Before you continue reading here, check out the informative interview AfterEllen conducted to learn a little about this magnificent and gorgeous woman.  Ari Fitz.  The name just seems appropriate for a sensible badass, in which she fulfills.  A young woman of color, with natural hair, who is open about her sexuality?  I am so onboard for this season and her experiences.  After one episode I have a feeling I am going to love her presence and relate to her more than any of the other 29 seasons of cast members.  She seems ambitious, compassionate, and confident with her being.  If I ever had the opportunity to interview her, many of my questions would attest to her intersectionality:

  1. Have you always been aware of your sexuality?
  2. Were you hesitant when you discovered this aspect of yourself?
  3. Were you raised in a predominantly white environment?
  4. If so, did that affect your opinion of other blacks who were raised in predominantly black or mixed environments?
  5. Your ex on the show is white, have you always dated white women?  Have you felt guilt for doing so?
  6. Were you ever worried your partner would say or infer something racist and not be able to understand why that was problematic?
  7. As you grew and became more educated and experienced adult life, has your perception of being a black and gay woman evolved?

These are just a few of the questions I would ask because as a black and gay woman myself, I’ve asked myself the same things recently.  Being a part of two disenfranchised groups and yet assimilating (if that’s what she did) is truly a unique experience and the story should be told honestly.  Sometimes we watch TV to escape and others we watch to see ourselves and our stories.  While it is not Ari’s or Mtv’s responsibility to tell that story, it would be pretty awesome if viewers could catch a glimpse of it.  Either way I am quite ecstatic to see her story unfold.

Disclaimer: I did not talk about her physical appearance  because she’s more than that but hot damn is she not sexy?  I mean she is a model but wow.  I am so very attracted.  Shout out to all the femme lesbians of the world, she’s making you visible!  I am a dater of femmes so I am extra pumped to watch her do her thang.

Hooray for indulging in trash TV.  Sometimes you need it to cleanse your refined palette.

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All Your Friends Are Heterosexual But You’re Not…

20 Feb

Hot Damn

You know what’s so great about this photo of lovely women above?  Not only are they sexy and seemingly fun-loving people, but they’re friends… And they’re all lesbians.  Having a group of female friends who adore and loathe women in the same way you do is pretty much a distant fantasy for me at the moment.  That’s why I tend to search high and low for any type of media that depicts close knit lesbian friendships so I can get a small taste of what it might be like.

My lack of lesbian friends could possibly be blamed on the fact that I was born, raised, went to school, and still live in the midwest.  The midwest being southwestern Ohio.  Cincinnati isn’t the smallest city, but I do not reside in any of the “progressive” areas.  Part of the blame could also be that I never really put any extra effort into making some lesbian friends.  While I attended University I did participate in the campuses LGBTQ organization (Spectrum).  But I never really found anyone I clicked with in the group.  It wasn’t until senior year that I finally found a “secret” group of lesbians.  I guess they weren’t exactly secret but I had never seen any of them doing things with Spectrum.  Anyhow, I didn’t have enough time to get to really know any of them and thus I graduated with one lesbian friend.  Luckily, my heterosexual friends are some of the greatest gifts that have ever been bestowed upon me.

All of my friends that I put into the “best friend” category all self identify (to my knowledge) as heterosexual.  They have been the most supporting and uplifting bunch of people I could’ve asked for.  From the moment I came out officially six years ago, to typing right here right now, not one of them has left me because of my sexuality.  I know there are kids out there who cannot say the same and I am forever grateful.  They listen to me complain about girls and cry over all the heterosexual girls I’ve fallen for (more on that later.  I could write a saga).  Even though they can’t specifically relate, they still do their best to console me and give me great bits of advice.  While I am appreciative of this, there’s an odd lingering feeling when all your friends are talking about their boyfriends and you kind of feel like an outlier.  Well technically I am an outlier I suppose.  I am infinitely surrounded by heteronormative music, television, film, friends, and sometimes you just want a small sense of complete belonging.

So what do you do when you can’t find your community in person?  You find that community elsewhere.  The easiest way to go about this is obviously the online world.  Tumblr is pretty much rainbows puking up rainbows and it’s fantastic because for a moment you feel like everyone finally understands you.  They talk about LGBTQ issues, share images they find attractive and why, talk about lesbian sex without any awkwardness, and truly embrace their identities as women who love women.  There are also websites like AfterEllen, which I lived and breathed on when I first came out.  They eloquently share lesbian news, music, film, tv, etc, while providing a safe space for lesbians to discuss various topics.  There’s also Cherry Grrl, which is “a little website with the goal of bringing more visibility to lesbian projects.”  Autostraddle is another good one.  These are just some of the main sites I wander to when I need some real lesbian content in my life.  In addition to the online Universe, you can also go out into the real world and scope out some known lesbian hot spots in your city.  I know there’s a stereotype in the lesbian community that every girl either has slept with or knows every other lesbian in a 100 mile radius.   So far from what I’ve read of some cities, this seems true.  From what I’ve experienced/seen of the seemingly smallish lesbian community in my city, it’s not really my cup of tea.  I know I just haven’t found the right lesbian scene yet and I’m hopeful I’ll find it in the future preferably in a different zipcode.  It takes patience to be gay if you haven’t figured that out already.

So if you’re like me in this situation, don’t fret!  Remind your heterosexual friends that you’re appreciative of them while seeking out a community that will fit your needs.  Also don’t feel pressured to befriend the first lesbian you meet just because you’ve never had a lesbian friend.  You can’t force a close friendship.  Just go with the flow baby.  Although I know how that sense of urgency feels and how hard it can be to resist something you’re desperately seeking.  But try to be patient.

-The Lyrical Lesbian