The Dish: Halsey and Lauren Jauregui’s “Strangers” is a Lesbian Love Song, Miley Cyrus Inspired “I Kissed a Girl”

Sapphic “Romeo & Juliet” song? Yes, please!

Hi there!

Halsey says her song, “Strangers,” with fellow bisexual pop star Lauren Jauregui is a love song about two women, and dedicated to the LGBT community. “It’s like a Romeo and Juliet kind of like…strangers but love at first sight kind of thing,” Halsey said. “It’s the first song—there’s a couple on the record—but this is the first song that I ever wrote where I openly used female pronouns. I have songs on ‘Badlands’ that are about women that I’ve been with, but I was 19, it was my first record-I also really tried to keep ‘Badlands’ gender-neutral. … On this one, I kind of go there. …Lauren is a friend of mine and she’s openly bisexual and so am I. And our fans really this past year have really expressed just so much support and so much love and indication that they just relate to us and are happy to have us being outspoken about it, and I was thinking to myself, ‘If I want this song to be believable, it needs to be real. So I’m not going to put a girl on this song to sing who’s straight. I’m just not gonna do it.'” HERE. FOR. THIS.

Finallyyyy @iamhalsey

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There’s been a lot of speculation over the years as to if Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed a Girl” was based on a true story. Well, Miley Cyrus says it is, and it’s about her. “When [Perry] came out with ‘I Kissed a Girl,’ I was doing the Hannah Montana movie, and I heard her on the radio. They said, ‘Who did you write that about?’ She said me! I screamed and started freaking out, and then she asked me to go to the VMAs with her,” Cyrus said. So apparently they kissed at least once and Katy has Miley to thank for one of the biggest hits of her career.

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Russian lesbian Elena escaped a small town outside of Moscow to live with her Canadian girlfriend, Meg, and she did it all by sea. Meg put a mortgage on her house to buy a boat, Elena took sailing lessons in Turkey and two months later, they set sail, reaching Canada 10 months later. They are telling their story in a new book, “Talking to the Moon,” which you should probably buy for your girlfriend with post-its marking pages that read “#GOALS.”

Travel+Leisure lists the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in Europe (surprise! Russia’s not on it). Meet me in Malta?

Artist Wu Tsang has a new film, “Duilian,” about the legendary Chinese lesbian poet Qui Jin. The “sapphic kung-fu romance” was shot in Hong Kong and stars musician Boychild as well as Tsang herself.

The Chicago History Museum is hosting an LGBTQ event tonight: “From New Town to Boys Town to Lakeview.” Let’s hope some of the conversation steers toward the erasure of the city’s lesbian bars.

Out Bishop Karen Oliveto did a Facebook Live video with Religion Dispatches where she talks about being the first-ever lesbian bishop to be elected by the Methodist church. (Of course, this is currently being challenged by the powers that be.)

Methodists don’t have the monopoly on homophobia, though. All religions have a sect that seems to take issue with LGBTQ issues. The Jewish Journal wonders if it’s possible for LGBTQ Jewish Orthodox teens to find acceptance. It appears that this issue is rather complicated. “With my students, I feel it’s important that they understand that this is not something that we look down upon,” said Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger, the head of Valley Torah High School in Valley Village, California. “This is not a choice that people make.” But he goes on to say any students living openly LGBTQ will face some issues. “This would be inconsistent with the atmosphere — for a kid to say, ‘I’m gay, I’m acting out on it and I want to be a member of Valley Torah in good standing.’ It’s inconsistent from a halachic viewpoint.” Sigh.

Swiss TV doesn’t have much in the way of LGBTQ visibility, so when a young girl revealed she had two moms on “Der Bestatter (The Undertaker),” viewers were quick to praise the show for its inclusivity. “’The Undertaker’ might be fiction, but we also want to be a mirror to society – a mirror of Switzerland in 2017, where same-sex parents increasingly appear as a matter of course,” said Urs Fitze, head of fiction at the network. Let’s hope there’s more where that came from.

Tegan and Sara explain why they started a foundation to help queer women, which you can hear more about from their live stream with Vice today at 8:30ET/5:30PT. A quote: “Our mission is always to fight for the things we think are important for our community, but also to amplify positive stories,” Tegan said. “Often when it comes to LGBTQ stuff, there’s a lot of focus on the things that are happening that are sad or bad or wrong or unfair, and I think that’s important. But for Sara and I, in order to rise up a new generation of LGBTQ leaders, especially women in our community, we need to amplify positive stories.” As someone who was lucky enough to attend Tegan and Sara Foundation’s first summit, I can co-sign that they are really doing some good work for our community with a much-needed focus on women. They’re also going to be at Mothership this fall, which is going to be so bad ass.

Out actress Caitlin Stasey will star in the new coming-of-age film “Summertime,” as “Suzy, the wild child who skipped town the day after high school graduation but now is back after her marriage hit the skids.” Caitlin is one of my faves to follow on Instagram. I highly recommend it.

Model Ruth Bell says she’s learning how to speak Czech “because my girlfriend is from the Czech Republic.” That’s love!

Photo by Interview

See you on Friday!

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