The Dish: Topshop and H&M Sell FEMME T-shirts, Cosmo Still Insists Scissoring Isn’t a Thing

Lesbian chic is back again!

Hi bb! Let’s forget the world is going to hell in a handbasket for one whole second. Maybe you want to get out of the States for a bit. You’re IN LUCK. We have an all-new issue on the streets and it has your guide to traveling all over the world, to places that are LGBTQ-friendly and Trump free! You can grab a copy near you, or, if you’re in Los Angeles, at AltarGirl tonight. See you there?!

Out Russian journalist Masha Gessen and Samantha Bee talked Trump and his Russia ties during the PEN America’s World Voices Festival, and you can watch it in its entirety thanks to Facebook Live.

Silicon Valley is getting a new LGBT center in San Mateo. The Pride Center is said to be “one of the most innovative in California as five nonprofits and the county’s Health System are taking an interdisciplinary approach to offer a range of services uniquely tailored to the LGBTQ community and its allies.” At least there’s some good news because spaces like this are needed more than ever.

Korean television is getting queerer with same-sex love stories on the boob tube. It’s been more gay male stories as of late, but the direction of inclusiveness is promising.

Writer and first generation Japanese-Canadian settler Hiromi Goto will deliver the keynote speech at the 13th annual breakfast for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Vancouver on May 19. “It’s important to be visible and share experiences from [my] standpoint because often the queer culture that is focused upon is very youthful and primarily white,” Goto said. “I think it’s important for younger people who are just coming out, and uncertain, that there are generations of queerness.” Know your herstory!

New Yorkers can celebrate Marlene Dietrich with a retrospective of her work at the Metrograph Theater running May 23-June 4. See the queer Hollywood legend in some of her best films, including “Morrocco,” the film in which she famously donned The Suit and kissed a lady.

Out lesbian teacher Lora Jane Riedas has been cleared of any wrongdoing by her Florida school board after a conservative group called The Liberty Counsel accused her of promoting homosexuality and impinging on students’ religious freedoms by asking them not to wear rosaries or Make America Great Again hats in the classroom. The Counsel claims they will continue to deliver “letters” to the school, but it Riedas said the support she’s received from students, alumni, faculty and the community has been overwhelming: “I am just relieved, relaxed, for the first time in two weeks.”

Charlotte Harris will be the first-ever out lesbian to be prominently featured on Main Avenue as part of the Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s “most famous and prestigious flower show” running from May 23-27 in London. Her work is inspired by “the importance of living sustainably and in harmony with our precious ecosystems,” because of course it is.

Melissa Etheridge will be holding a four-day fan camp in Havana, Cuba because she’s Melissa Etheridge and she can do WHATEVER THE FUCK SHE WANTS. She said the country’s Music & Arts Live program requested she come “to connect with the country’s L.G.B.T. community.” “Apparently, there is a strong L.G.B.T. presence in Cuba as there is in so many parts of the world,” she said. “but I imagine that this community may be struggling to be accepted. When I meet with people who are part of this community, I’ll answer any questions they have and also encourage them to be comfortable in their own skin.” Also, the New York Times interview with Melissa included this tidbit, which made me LOL: “Etheridge will perform concerts with local musicians, lead workshops on music, visit schools and connect with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. (She is a lesbian.)” SHE IS!?

As a self-identified femme, I have always appreciated being able to wear an identifying marker of my queernessa T-shirt, a necklace, my gay back tattoo. But I’ve usually had to search for these things from Otherwild or Etsy and support another queer gal in the process. So now that H&M, Topshop and other brands are cashing in on the “FEMME” phrase, it’s hard to know how to feel about it. “Femme,” of course, means “woman” in French, and French is overused by these same brands to sell quirky crop tops and Ts, but don’t we, as queers, own the term a bit? Personally, I find that these stores are LGBTQ-friendly and are allowed to sell these kinds of shirts. But will it annoy me to see straight, cis women wearing them? Probably. BUT I’M A FEMINIST, SO. Now if they start manufacturing shirts that say DYKE…..

Photo by Topshop

Can a cisgender bisexual woman be a drag queen? Australian queen Tayla Macdonald often gets some hateful comments from the internet, but says her local drag community is mostly supportive.  “What motivates me to get better is seeing a lack of female representation in the drag community and wanting to empower other women and let them know it’s okay to do drag,” she said. “As a woman living in 2017, gender roles and misogyny are still something that directly affect my life. By doing drag I’m hoping to shift people’s perceptions of gender and specifically women in the queer community.” Perhaps it’s not as much drag as it is camp, and that’s where the distinction lies, but straight women are calling themselves femme now, so what do I know?

Bisexual track star Jennifer Emery has helped make her school (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) more LGBTQ-friendly. She’s the President of the LGBTQ Student Alliance where she’s helped to create an LGBTQ+ Center at the school and created all-gender restrooms out of single-toilet restrooms across campus. A senior, she’s graduating this weekend with a degree in computer science and will move back to her hometown of Fort Wayne to work at Raytheon as a software engineer. See, Indiana isn’t SO bad, even if Mike Pence tried to ruin it completely. At least people like Jennifer exist.

Cosmo is perpetuating the myth that lesbians don’t scissor. Meanwhile, there are whole videos on the internet that tell you they do and you can, too! (Just a reminder that it’s not the only thing you can do, though. I don’t care what your brother’s friend told you.)

See you tonight, right?