The Dish: New “Orange is the New Black” Trailer Drops, Join GO at AltarGirl Tomorrow in LA

“Story of my life.”

Hi there!

If you’re in Los Angeles, I’d love to see you at AltarGirl tomorrow (Wednesday!) night, as we’ll have brand new May issues of GO to give you. It’ll be fun!

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has given the NBA a thumbs up for LGBTQ inclusion, saying “The NBA, like their peers in football, tennis, golf, and baseball, recognizes that including LGBT-owned businesses in their procurement is not only the right thing to do but it’s smart business. We expect the tremendous success we’ve seen connecting LGBTBEs to the sporting world to drive even greater participation by those not yet at the table, including the entire NFL, NHL, and professional soccer leagues.” Oooh, so this is a CALLOUT! Get hip to not being homophobes, sports world.

Indian author Sree Parvathy was scheduled to speak at St. Teresa’s College in Ernakulam but the school suddenly found out her novel had lesbian themes and canceled the event based on their fear “‘such books’ would influence the minds of their students and theirs is a women’s college.” Sadly, there are certainly some women at that school who would really benefit from hearing from someone like Sree, whose work might offer them some validation in their questioning and/or queer identity. Censorship is wack.

Queer fashion maven Nicolette Mason writes about the lack of plus-size representation in fashion, specifically women who don’t fit into the “hourglass shape” category. “I can’t tell you how many times commenters have told me to wear a belt to cinch my waist,” Mason writes in Glamour. “Is there any escaping the tyranny of the hourglass when I’m just trying to live my life and look cute?” There’s no one shape to achieve, people, so this is just another reminder that you can wear whatever the fuck you want.

I saw Kera of Kera & The Lesbians perform at Mothership last year and it was a highlight of my weekend. She’s a QWOC leading a band of dudes, so the name is a tad tongue-in-cheek: “I had to find a way to not get upset by another straight male telling me that [he was] a lesbian,” she said. And now they can’t escape it. They should feel #blessed.

The hardest thing to consider when creating a list of the best lesbian movies of all time is what exactly counts as a lesbian movie. Arguably “Set It Off” was way more about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s heterosexual relationship than it was about Queen Latifah‘s butch lesbian Cleo, and “Tomboy” wasn’t technically lesbian either in that it was more about gender identity.  Anyway, “Blue is the Warmest Color” isn’t on this list and I’m one of those lesbians who actually liked it, so.

TV shows are still doing that whole “mistaking two women together as lesbians” thing and then having them make an award joke about their sex lives. This week it’s on Fox’s “Lucifer.”

Meanwhile, the animated show “Steven Universe” is super queer, and so is “Sense8,” which just returned for a second season on Netflix. Supporting shows and films that have more than just a gay “moment” is important for our continued visibility and positive representation.

Speaking of, if you love “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Executive Producer Bruce Miller promises there is more Moira to come. An all-new episode hits Hulu tomorrow.

Conversely, Season 5 of “Orange is the New Black” will have less Samira Wiley, but her presence will certainly be felt. (p.s. if you’re one of those people who found the new season for free online, consider watching it again when it hits Netflix in June so that we can keep having nice things.) Here’s the new trailer, which shows the inmates of Litchfield in resistance mode.

Four lesbian couples (all married and expecting children) have filed suit against the state of Tennessee over their newly signed “Natural and Ordinary” language law. Last week, Gov. Bill Haslam signed the law, which specifies that “undefined words shall be given their natural and ordinary meaning. Without forced or subtle construction that would limit or extend the meaning of the language, except when a contrary intention is clearly manifest.” Charitey and Heather Mackenzie, Crystal Dawn and Terra Mears, Elizabeth and Heather Broadaway and Kathrine and Emilie Guthrie filed the suit in Nashville on Friday, alleging that this law interferes with their parental rights. The lawyer representing them, Julie Tate-Keith, told NBC, “If that’s to be meaningful, then same-sex couples have to be treated the same way that opposite-sex couples are, and that means parentage just like anyone else. … If this isn’t about gay people, why are we talking about gay people?” It’s always about gay people. God, why are they so obsessed with us?

Safe in My Chair wants to make all LGBTQ people feel comfortable going to the barber shop or salon. The directory lists stylists and beauticians (is that still a word we use or am I my grandmother?) who will give you a bomb look while also treating you like the gorgeous human being that you are. (Speaking of, shout out to Folklore Salon, the queerest little place in Echo Park whose owners/stylists also run Dyke Day L.A., which is coming up June 9th! Celebrating 10 years!)

Horror films are getting slightly queerer, but not necessarily super gay. At least not the mainstream movies. We’re still pretty niche.

Kolkata is home to a new cafe whose name, Amra Odbhuth, literally means “We Are Queer.” It’s inside someone’s house, and offers “rotational menus” aligned with special events which include poetry, performance art and film screenings. On some days, it’s open just for LGBTQs to come together and have a meal and be themselves in a safe space.

The University of British Columbia is searching for lesbian, bisexual, queer, and/or transgender women who are 19 years or older and have had suicidal thoughts in the past so they can find out why queer women are more likely to attempt suicide. It’s part of their project Still Here, and hopes to “improve understanding about suicide among queer women, to decrease stigma about suicide, and to help develop future suicide-prevention programs.”

Ashlee Marie Preston had a terrible experience at Catch in Los Angeles, and she wants people to know the transphobia, racism and other microaggressions she said she was subjected to is not OK. “My intention is to encourage others to speak up so that our collective voices can amplify that message,” she writes. “Let this piece serve as a call to action for marginalized communities to unify and mobilize so that we’re able to withstand everything coming our way in this social and political climate. It is all of us or none of us. The entire community and our allies must tap into our superhuman powers and push for change the best way we know how.”

Being black, queer and femme is hard enough without people fetishizing you. Former GO contributor Cameron Glover details her dating experiences, bemoaning that “to the heterosexual-identified people that I may date, my sexuality is seen as something ‘exciting’ or ‘exotic’ to try. Along with my identity as a Black woman, my sexuality can confirm harmful stereotypes about Black femininity, particularly that we are hypersexual and inherently promiscuous beings.” She’s not here for it.

Chicago’s SHEFEST will celebrate Chicago’s queer female and non-binary artists on June 12 at 7:30pm at the Broadway, Pride Arts Center. Formerly called LezFest, the newly named event (in its sixth year) benefits Pride Films & Plays’ LezPlay writing contest and workshop program which “enhances the visibility and advance the viability of lesbian-centered stories for stage and screen.”

A conversation worth listening to and having with others in your life: “What Role can Nonviolent Communication Play in Global Movements Advocating for Basic Human Rights for LGBTQIA?” Genderqueer artist and activist Priscilla Bertucci offers some suggestions in a conversation with Talk-It Out Radio.

That seems like a good note to end on. TTYL!