The Dish: Ilene Chaiken Teases “The L Word” Reunion, Paola Parades Shines a Light on Ecuador’s LGBT Conversion Therapy

This is the way, it’s the way that we (re)live.

Hi there. You survived the weekend and are now coasting into another Monday. That’s an accomplishment.

Special shout out to all of the graduates who walked out of Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony when Mike Pence took the stage to give his speech. GLAAD’s HBIC Sarah Kate Ellis praised the 100 students, saying, “Graduates around the country deserve commencement speakers who inspire them to propel our diverse country forward, and these Notre Dame students bravely told the world that Vice President Pence’s anti-LGBTQ actions fly in the face of unity and inspiration. These Notre Dame graduates should be applauded for demonstrating true leadership and standing up for freedom and acceptance.”

Speaking of Mike Pence’s horrific thoughts on LGBTQs, Ecuadorian photographer Paola Paredes has a series, “Until You Change,” featuring LGBTQ women who are forced into Pence-approved conversion therapy. “In Ecuador approximately 200 facilities exist to ‘cure’ homosexual men and women,” Paredes said. “Operations are masked under the guise of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres. Imprisoned against their will those interned are subject to emotional and physical torture.To raise awareness of an on-going human rights issue that continues to resist mainstream media in Ecuador, I recreated scenes form these ‘clinics’ based upon victim testimony. Being gay and from Ecuador, I chose myself as the protagonist of the images. I incorporated my own emotions and experiences with theatrical methods to explore the abuse of women in these institutions, staging a series of images based on the testimony of the women who I interviewed.” This video is a little tough to watch, but also necessary so that we can know exactly what dangers our community is faced with around the world.

The New York Times took a deep dive into China’s biggest “boy band,” Acrush, which is actually five androgynous women. One revelation from the piece: “The band’s management forbids members to talk openly about their sexual orientation.” The interesting thing about this is how hot young women are for these “dudes,” going as hard for Acrush as One Direction fans do for Harry Styles and co. I have “Acrush” on all of them.

If you’re a fan of “Call the Midwife,” I have some bad news for ya. The show’s lesbian characters, Patsy and Delia, will no longer appear on the new season. Emerald Fennell (Patsy) has been cast as Lady Ada Lovelace in a new period drama, “Victoria,” Kate Lamb (Delia) has also announced her departure. However, the powers that be claim they will not be killed off the show, and there’s always a chance for the lovers to return.

What exactly is going on here? We don’t know. But Ilene Chaiken loves to tease possible “L Word” reboots and it looks like this tweet was meant to get tongues wagging, which they were (and are).


What could it all mean? And where is Mia Kirshner? Will Dana be brought back to life? If so, is Jenny also resurrected from the dead?

Listen, I’ll stop sharing interviews with Paula Vogel when she stops saying things like this: “In a sense, right now we are all lesbian. We are all Jews. We are all Muslim. I don’t claim to represent any of these groups, but I do think that when one minority is under attack then we are all under attack.” This is from a New York Magazine piece called “Is Girl-on-Girl Kissing Still Shocking On Broadway?” (Spoiler: The answer is no.)

Sadly, LGBTQs who flee Russia for New York are finding that their communities in Brooklyn are filled with the same homophobic values they were hoping to escape. Russian LGBT organization RUSA LGBT held “the nation’s first march for Russian-speaking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” on the Brighton Beach boardwalk over the weekend, attracting 200 people. “It’s certainly better than Russia, but what kind of sanctuary is this if people can’t even live openly here?” said RUSA LGBT founder Yelena Goltsman.

Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote was awarded $7.5 million from the supermarket giant after setting a lawsuit where she challenged their lack of health insurance benefits available to same-sex spouses of Walmart associates prior to 2014. In even better news, Walmart has also committed to “continue to provide the same health insurance benefits regardless of the gender of the associate’s spouse.”

Out reporter Mary Emily O’Hara went on MSNBC this weekend to talk about Chelsea Manning‘s release from prison and her next steps for appealing and being discharged from the military.

Floridians are calling on Governor Rick Scott to help pass an anti-discrimination law that would protect LGBTQs from being fired for their sexual and/or gender identities, as well as being denied housing or public accommodation. And yet despite the tragedy of Orlando less than a year ago, the proposed bill didn’t even get a hearing before it was shot down by lawmakers who, instead, added “new criminal penalties for terrorism.”

Ruby Rose was all fired up about Katy Perry‘s new alleged Taylor Swift diss track “Swish Swish,” and she took to Twitter to air her grievances. But she’s since felt bad about the negativity and chalked it up to her being less than psyched about bullies and bullying, which, clearly she finds Katy Perry guilty of but not Swift with her own “Bad Blood.” I legitimately forgot what the initial argument was about between Katy and Taylor the other day, and my sister said, “Someone stole the other’s one dancers or something.” Can’t we just all get along, grown women? Let’s get these powerhouses on a “Ladies Night” type track with Remy Ma, Nicki Minaj, J. Lo and Mariah.

Taiwan could get a vote for equal marriage on Wednesday. Should the outcome go our way, the island would be the first place in the continent to legalize same-sex marriage. “Everyone is really looking forward to the decision, not only in Taiwan but across Asia,” said out lesbian Jennifer Lu, an activist who works with the Taiwan LGBT Hotline Association. Fingers crossed!

Until tomorrow <3

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