The Dish: Sarah Paulson is One of Time’s Most Influential People, Ruby Rose Returning to “OITNB”

High there!

Happy 4/20!

New Orleans Public Radio is broadcasting a series on its local Second-wave feminist movement and the battle over the Equal Rights Amendment, and one of the interviewees is out lesbian Clay Latimer, a New Orleans lawyer, activist and member of the women’s movement. Latimer tells the reporter she wears lavender as often as she can. “In the early days of the women’s movement, Betty Friedan labeled the lesbians, especially lesbians in the National Organization for Women, as the lavender menace,” Clay said. And lesbians picked it up as a symbol of pride.” And as the story notes, “The New Orleans movement was led mostly by queer women.”

It’s still illegal to be gay in Nigeria, so 53 people were just charged with “conspiring to celebrate a gay wedding.” They pled not guilty and await trial on May 8 where they could face up to 14 years in prison.

Huazhong University of Science and Technology’s women’s basketball team carried a homophobic banner across campus recently, reading “Protect traditional Chinese morals. Defend core socialist values. Resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts. Keep homosexuality far from campus.” The generally quite LGBTQ-friendly school was shocked after the team’s coach posted a photo of one of his players holding the banner, and now many are calling for him to be fired and the team punished. Sadly, the New York Times found that the women’s basketball program “had a history of harassment against lesbian players, according to students” and “Ling Bing, a coach of the team, posted anti-gay rants on his social media accounts.” Sadly, this kind of homophobia is part of athletics (professional and collegiate) everywhere, and that’s why organizations like Athlete Ally and Brache the Silence are so important to helping LGBTQ athletes feel supported and less alone. Some of these “decadent Western thoughts” will hopefully extend to China, but the heartening thing is that a lot of locals are upset about the banner and not allowing it to go unnoticed.

Photo by Facebook

“Breaking Bad” star Lavell Crawford participated in an interview where he made some pretty disparaging comments about gay people. “I don’t hate you because you gay… I think that’s a choice, I believe that’s a choice,” he said. “I always see women with a chick, they got on the same outfit I got on. What the fuck is that about? Why you dating somebody who looks like me? You could be dating who’s got all the equipment! … Young ladies, try a dick out. You’re gonna find a good dick out there, try one!” I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s still so maddening to be having or hearing these same conversations with people who apparently can’t grasp that women’s sexuality isn’t about ALL ABOUT YOUR DICK? In fact, mine has nothing to do with Lavell Crawford’s dick, and I’d like him to stop inserting himself (pun not intended).

In some better news, The UK’s Education Secretary Justine Greening told a group of LGBT teens that coming out was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. TheBritish Conservative Party politician came out on Twitter last year and thus became the first becoming the first openly lesbian Cabinet minister, which she credited to her partner, Tess, having encouraged her. “She was right and I realized that actually if I was not going to be part of the solution, then I was implicitly part of the problem. I needed to have the confidence and the courage to say this is fine, in fact it’s better than fine. ‘Doing my tweet was the best thing I’ve done in many, many, many a year. And actually it gets better every day. I am better for being who I am and being clear about that.” But wait, how does she feel about Lavell Crawford’s dick?

A new play in San Diego, “Skeleton Crew,” features a lesbian union rep who is also a cancer survivor and the “elder stateswoman” of a contingent of factory workers in Detroit. Played by Tonye Patano, the character of Faye “just needs to make it through the year to retirement” and is a major part of this all-black four-person production. Check it out if you’re in the area.

Lea Michele wanted to play a lesbian character on “Looking” and I don’t even know how I would have felt about that. I’m sure it would have been fine, but I really liked that show and I am just not sure she would have been the San Francisco lesbian character of my dreams on it. In the same interview, the former “Glee” star shared that if she had to make out with a woman, it would be Scarlett Johansson (the new Angelina Jolie answer, I swear) or Penelope Cruz (“But I’ve been told that she kind of looks like me, so I don’t know what that says about me – that I’m narcissistic?”).

Ruby Rose will be back for Season 5 of “Orange is the New Black”! There aren’t many details on Stella Carlin’s return just yet, but we do know that the entire season will take place over three days time, following the death of Poussey. (Ugh, RIP.)

Little Mix‘s Jesy Nelson joked that she wants to be a lesbian on her Snapchat. All it takes is a hope, a dream and a wish, Jesy! JK, you have to like women.

Deborah Fields (aka Debrii) is Marvel’s Black lesbian superhero in “New Warriors,” premiering on Freeform “sometime in 2018.” Here are character details that were just released:

Deborah Fields (Debrii)

Superpower: Low level telekinetic; trickster

Deborah is proud, funny and quick-witted. Confidently out as a lesbian, Deborah has experienced deep loss in her personal life as a direct result of super “heroics.” She can take care of herself, or at least says she can. She’s the one who calls people on their BS and has no fear of putting her opinions out there.

Photo by Freeform

NOT SO FAST, MARVEL. It seems that the new “Black Panther” movie has, in fact, degayed their queer women characters. After seeing an early cut, a reviewer speculated that there was a hint of the lesbianism included in the original comics, but a publicist confirmed: “Danai Gurira’s Okoye and Florence Kasumba’s Ayo in ‘Black Panther’ is not a romantic one.” Understandably, fans are pissed about the erasure and tweeting about it using #LetAyoHaveaGirlfriend.

Trans teen Gavin Grimm has been named one of Time’s Most Influential People of 2017, and Janet Mock wrote his profile.

Also on this year’s list is Sarah Paulson, whose profile was written by “Carol” co-star Cate Blanchett. What a stunner.

Photo by Time

Enjoy the holiday and see you tomorrow.