I ask you, dear reader, is there anything riskier or more problematic than being a lesbian in this catastrophic political climate? Just one thing, and one thing only: Being a lesbian in the movies.
You see, cinematic lesbians have the overriding tendency to die by the last reel of their tragic romantic adventures; whether they commit suicide (as in The Children’s Hour), die from a mysterious illness (as in Fried Green Tomatoes), or get struck by a falling tree—ouch (as in The Fox)!
Precious and few are the lesbian films that come complete with happy and satisfying endings; but rest assured, fair Ladies, we do have in our cinematic canon just a few epics where she doesn’t die at the end!
Juliet Takes a Breath
by Gabby Rivera
I’ve been looking forward to this one for some time. The idea of a coming-of-age story for a Puerto Rican babydyke going on a quest to discover herself is pretty amazing. It’s also something that seems like a no-brainer, given how many coming out stories exist. But what sets Juliet Takes a Breath apart from a lot of those stories is that JTaB doesn’t follow the general beats of that story. It isn’t focused on Juliet finding her true love (although she does get to have some romance on the side of her exploration). It’s about her finding how to be herself and about finding her community.
It’s a myth that fondness for musicals is a trait for gay boys only. Not so! I’m a sucker for adding songs to anything. We could Once More With Feeling any show out there, and I would be down for it. I straight up own Chicago and both the movie version and the live recording of Rent. I watched Glee for far longer than was healthy for me.
Long story short, to make me happy: Put a song on it.
While I could just put a link to Cartoon Network if you wanted Sapphic characters singing and have you indulge in the optimism of Steven Universe, instead I’ll include short reviews here of some movies that you could watch with your girlfriend. Each of the following have featured in my movie nights with Ivy Quinn.
And away we go!
In the near future, humankind has finally found life in the universe! And we are TERRIFIED. In response, the government creates a dome called SafeSky to protect us from extraterrestrial life and have used this fear as an excuse to create a fascist, controlled society. As you do. Or as humans do, anyway. Shock Doctrine engage! Power up the giant gun on the moon!
This weekend, I appeared on a panel at The Baltimore Book Festival with other diverse writers about our experiences in publishing and what we wished other potential writers knew before trying to write diversely or, sometimes, about characters out of their normal realm of experience. Here are a few reflections on that below.
Last week we gave our overview of Riley Parra, the latest series over at Tello Films. Today, we have a special interview with the author of the original novel series who also writes for the show, Geonn Cannon.
Tello Films is a subscription service providing both fictional and non-fictional queer women programming since 2007. In the last month, it’s premiered a new urban fantasy show based on the books of the same name, Riley Parra. Below are my thoughts.
Last week has resulted in an even more intense discussion of the need for diverse books than usual. Between Handbook for Mortals attempting to scam the New York Times bestseller list and displacing, however briefuly, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give from #1 and bumping Nicola Yoon’s Everything Everything off the list, the Linda Howard debacle over diversity in the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and an indignant sci-fi author on Twitter, Jon Del Arroz, arguing that trade publishing agents are only seeking LGBT+ books, we need to talk. The publishing industry is not a zero-sum games, and diverse authors are not stealing from “more mainstream” or so-called “more traditional” writers.
Pictured: Fledgling by a bottle of Poison Girl, with dark purple flowers.
My love for Octavia Butler is deep and all consuming. I’m closing in on reading her entire oeuvre as soon as I nail down the Patternmaster series. She has stories about gene trading aliens, pregnant men, the destruction of America under a demagogic leader, among other thought experiments. She does with sci fi what should be done with sci fi: Explore social phenomenon and test the boundaries of human social expectations.
Fledgling (2005) is no different in this regard. It isn’t my favorite book of hers by any means (that award goes to Parable of the Talents), but it’s just so darn interesting that I’ve returned to it many times. The story follows a young vampire named Shori, who wakes in agonizing pain, nearly burned to death, and blinded, in a cave. As she heals and makes her way out into the world, she has to solve the murder of her family and try to navigate a society she has no memory of in order to get justice or her people.
Fledgling was supposed to be Butler’s “fun” vampire novel, and it was the book she wrote just before she died. (Too soon!) In spite of that, the novel continues to explore the concept of power in hierarchical societies, as well as biological interdependence through a completely original imagining of how vampires and their humans may interact. While some of this novel’s prose isn’t as polished as Butler’s other novels, the conceptual development is more than worth the read.
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Last week, Daniel Ryan Alarcon of The Mary Sue had an excellent piece about how the refocusing of Legends of Tomorrow’s second season around Sara Lance aka White Canary as its lead helped to vastly improve the show’s direction. I highly recommend it. It got me thinking about my favorite episodes so far of the show as far as Sara Lance was concerned. So here are my top five below.