The Dish: Asia Kate Dillon & Emma Watson Make History at the MTV Movie & Television Awards

Sing it with me, everyone: “Monday, Monday, Monday! Monday, Monday, Monday.”

We’ll get through this Monday together, OK?

The MTV Movie & TV Awards were pretty celebratory of being different this year, and that includes being a WOMAN! Seriously, though, I’m glad to see that the projects selected and honored are more diverse than in the past, and winners like “Moonlight,” “Hidden Figures” and “Get Out” signaling that LGBTQs and POCs are valued by fans and networks/studios alike. This award show even made history with its doing away of gendered categories, and Asia Kate Dillon, the first non-binary actor to play a non-binary role on television (Showtime’s “Billions”) presented an award to Emma Watson, who won the first-ever non-gendered Best Actor award, and even thanked Asia in her speech for “educating” her on the subject. (p.s. now I ship them.)

No one told me about “Home Fires,” PBS’s dramatic series about members of the local Women’s Institute in 1940 which (of course) includes a few lesbians. Apparently, not many others knew about it, either, because the show was canceled after its Season 2 finale, but will live on in a new book series in which major character, Teresa, will discover more about her sexual identity despite living in a time where homosexuality was still illegal. Says creator Simon Block, “I did hear from a couple of older women who said that’s an accurate presentation. They couldn’t be open and knew people who sought sanctuary or anonymity within a marriage. There were secret channels of communicating with other lesbian women. There were book clubs. There was a form of correspondence you could enter into through an underground magazine.” Seeing this on screen would have been pretty amazing. Missed opportunity!

Photo by PBS

LGBs are more likely to be victims of revenge porn—36 percent vs. heterosexuals’ 21 percent. Even that, researchers say, could be an “underestimate.” Think twice before you send that sexty nude!

The New York Times profiles Africa’s rising photographers who are capturing (among other things) queer life on the continent. Robin Hammond, out lesbian Zanele Muholi and gay artist Eric Gyamfi are all praised for their incredible work that is reflective of the oft-ignored or persecuted community.

Also in the Times: an LGBTQ-themed Crossword.

Cuba held its first transgender Mass on Friday in the Western city of Matanzas. Part of a three-day conference on transsexuality and theology held at the Metropolitan Community Church, it was the first time a trans pastor has ever held a Holy Communion in the country. Brazilian pastor Alexya Salvador told the congregation, “Tonight has been a night of celebration of equality between all people, marking a new era for Cuba. God’s love is radically inclusive.”

Pakistan is also seeing some trans activism in the form of trans model Kami Sid. “I know how to break stereotypes, darling,” she told the Guardian. “I became a model; tomorrow I’ll become a mum. People think we’re just sex workers or beggars or dancers. After modeling, I’ve said we can become anything – doctors, engineers, teachers. We just need a platform.”

Photo by Facebook

Out Wildfang owner Emma McIlroy is featured in MAVENS, a Red Bull-sponsored series “that spotlights inspiring people breaking barriers and building communities.” Considering how many queer women I know that own things from Wildfang, I would say she is definitely a success story.

Chocolate Remix (nee Romina Bernardo) is an out lesbian Reggaeton artist from Buenos Aires, and she is attempting to queer the otherwise very heteronormative, hyper-masculine genre. However, like Young MA and some other lesbians in hip hop, some fans aren’t here for the misogyny they see as too parallel to what male performers embody in their lyrics and videos. As Chocolate Remix says of reggaeton star Daddy Yankee, “He’s not the bad guy,” she says, “he is just responding to the macho culture. … I’m presenting an alternative but I’m also saying ‘fuck you.’ I’m there shouting, ‘Your dick is not important.'” Someone put that on a Trump protest sign, stat.

In some good news, former University of Iowa athletic administrator Jane Meyer was awarded more than $1.4 million on Thursday after a jury decided she’d been discriminated against because of her identities as a woman and a lesbian. Her partner, who was also fired by the university, has her own trial set for next month. “This is for everyone who has fought for discrimination,” Meyer said. “It’s much bigger than Jane Meyer.”

“Doctor Who” is a pretty massive show, especially in the UK, and so the fact that the Doctor now has a biracial, lesbian companion, Bill, is pretty progressive. “I mean, just as I hope for children of ethnic minority backgrounds [to find] a positive identification with Bill as well,” said star Pearl Mackie, “So yeah, essentially the thing is, you know, I’m here to play one person. I’m not here to represent the entire lesbian and gay community, and I’m not here to represent the entire ethnic minority community … I feel that kids watching the program in those countries—or parts of those countries—I think that it’s a great thing to see someone who is very comfortably a lesbian on a mainstream family show. I think that’s very positive. If people can identify with that and feel less isolated then that’s fantastic.” Considering how few biracial, lesbian leads there are on television, there are guaranteed many people who are seeing themselves represented for the first time, and on a hit show that generations have enjoyed. Also, I just really love that the character’s name is Bill.

The New York GLAAD Media Awards went down over the weekend, and Rosie O’Donnell stopped by to make a surprise appearance where she sent a text to Donald Trump from the stage: “’F–k you, Donald. From the gays.'” Winners of the night included Tegan and Sara (Outstanding Music Artist), “The Rachel Maddow Show” for her segment on “Gay Community in U.S. ‘Forged in Fire'” (Outstanding TV Journalism Segment) and “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” (Outstanding Documentary).

A young lesbian named Rat jumped from a building after an argument with her girlfriend in Phuket, Thailand. The police superintendent referred to Rat as a “tomboy” in a report to the local paper, which, in Thailand, is generally used interchangeably with “lesbian.” Still, pretty unnecessary to use in a statement that has, you know, not much to do with the fact that she’s gay. (Rat was able to hold on to the edge of the third story balcony before letting go. She hit her head on an air conditioning unit on the way down to the ground, however, and went unconscious but is otherwise OK and currently in the hospital.) But it appears that the whole “tomboy” thing is commonplace for press and police alike, as they reported on another story similarly over the weekend. “A ‘tomboy’ narrowly escaped drowning early this morning after she walked into the sea at Saphan Hin following an argument with her girlfriend,” reports the Phuket Gazette. It appears that a lesbian couple was in a fight by the sea at Saphan Hin when one of them took off into the water, getting swept out to sea before finding a “broken old boat” to climb into. I only feel OK saying this because it appears everyone involved is safe now (thankfully!), but seriously, lesbians, can we stop being so dramatic that it puts our lives in danger!? I know that whatever your girlfriend says to you can be massively hurtful and heartbreaking (believe me—I’ve been there) but the best revenge is LIVING well—key word LIVING.

In the Philippines, tomboys that are also cops are trying to to make things better for lesbian police by throwing a pageant. Police Officer 2 Clarissa Santos was crowned the first-ever winner of “Gwapulis Din 2017,” winning over nine other hopefuls after dominating in the areas of talent, casual wear and formal wear. I’ve never wanted anything as badly as I want to be considered a judge for next year’s pageant.

Photo by YouTube

Queer film director Bruce la Bruce has a new film, “The Misandrists,” inspired by lesbian feminists he’s known. The movie follows the Female Liberation Army, “a cell of lesbian separatist terrorists posing as Catholic nuns and boarding school students ‘somewhere in Ger(wo)many.'” Sounds like an instant cult classic/your conservative grandma’s worst nightmare.

Blessed be the fruit! xoxo

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