Monday, August 30, 2010

Femcee: Jwahari is Royce Hall

Jwahari (WA-HA-REE), a.k.a. Royce Hall, is a fly, uncompromising musician that blends flavors from hip-hop to soul, afro-beat to spoken word. And I dig it. She wins me over on so many levels: hip-hop/jazz collisions, referencing great musicians (Mos Def, Sade, Goapele, etc.), female voice singing gender-neutral love songs... the list can go on. I first came across Jwahari while watching The Lovers and Friends Show. Check her out at

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Throwback: Dionne Farris

I don't know if Dionne Farris is gay. She's pretty private. But I will say this: a girl can dream. I've been home in Louisiana for the past week and that means there's plenty of Logo and VH1 Soul in my life. Well, not so much Logo. All they show is RuPaul's Drag Show marathons these days. But anyway, I was watching VH1 Soul this morning and the video "I Know" by Dionne Farris came on. It was the early nineties, so it's hard to say if she was butch or just in-style, but I go with the former. And why not? Visible lesbians warm my soul. 

I couldn't find the video for "I Know," so I'm sharing one of my top jams of all time, "Hopeless." Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

American Apparel on the Brink of Bankruptcy

If it does happen, I’ll be among the first in line to nab some overpriced hipster clothing for what it’s worth. Oh yeah, and I’ll be sad to see it go. But not for its wonderful mens clothing that I wish fit me better, or its fabulous “unisex” items (which are still mens, and don’t fit me just as well). No, not for that. The real reason: one in three American Apparel employees is undocumented and not underpaid. Or was. Last year, police raided the AA factory in Los Angeles, and according to the company’s CEO, Dov Charney, this significantly contributed to the company’s current financial hardship. And though I’d love to applaud the guy for his “Legalize LA” and “Legalize Gay” campaigns, the man is downright sexist… and I hate to name-call… but what else do you call a man who refers to his models as “sluts” and “whores” and then defends himself with “some of us love sluts”? … AND he’s a bigot! Who tells store managers to only hire “classy black girls, with nice hair, you know”? … Well, actually, he’s not as alone as we’d all like him to be on that one.

But back to Charney’s assertion that the raid is the cause of his company’s financial problems. Anyone can glance at the creeper’s track record and deduce in a matter of seconds that sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits have eaten away at the pockets of American Apparel. Oh, and Dov, I think that 10% drop in store sales might also be a contributing factor. I guess trading low pay and poor work conditions for your crazy ass has its pros and cons… On second thought, I don’t think I’ll be waiting in any line. And for AA employees’ sake, I hope Dov Charney is all that they lose.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The LNF Show needs your help!

Ladies and... ladies,

The Lovers and Friends Show has plans for a movie! But here's the catch, they need funding by August 31st to make it a reality. And that's not all. If you pledge $10 or more, there's a little lagniappe in it for you, all involving autographs. Who doesn't want something with Nicole Piña's handwriting all over it? They're goal is $2,000. Every bit counts.


Lezzie Gear: Chrome comes to NYC

Chrome NYC,

What's a lesbian without her gear? Bags, kicks, ties, rainbows. Maybe a bandana or two. Some button downs. Let’s be real, a white v-neck or two or seven. And why not throw in a few vests and sweaters? I’ll be the first to admit I own all of the above (well… technically they’re scarves, but whatever, it’s gay). And yet, of all my lezzie gear, my Chrome bag is by far my most prized possession. What self-respecting lesbian can resist a bag with a built in bottle opener? Plenty can. Cause they’re damn expensive. But I’m happy to have made the lifetime investment. I don’t tire of bags easily (I’m still using the book bag I got my sophomore year of high school). And if you’re main mode of transportation is a classic road bike, you just look official with a Chrome bag on your back.

Candace (my bike)? Check. Kicks? Check. Rainbow? Check.
Chrome bag? Check. Lez go!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chrome, it's a San Francisco (duh) based cycling gear manufacturer. Of course, it was started by some guys in a garage. And of course, all the indie kids have one (not that I'm indie). You don’t see them too often outside of the west coast, but that may be changing, and fast. Chrome has officially launched another flagship store in, as Alicia Keys would say, Neeewww Yooooorrrk! I’m personally not a huge fan of NYC, I’m from the south (meaning grass trumps concrete) and am relocating to Atlanta come September. But this is super exciting news for all those east coast urban cyclists and messengers. I’m even excited for them! … As long as no one gets the orange and sky mini-metro messenger bag. Can’t be crampin’ my style…

I doubt I’ll get to visit before my departure, but if you’re in the city, definitely check them out at 238 Mulberry Street. I’m almost jealous.

Gimme Sugar [***]

Remember the wide-spread devastation that so many queer women suffered when The L Word ended? Well, at the time, I found a way to cope. During my mourning process I was home in Louisiana, living with my parents, and didn’t have a gay soul to talk to. So, naturally, I turned to television to numb the pain. More specifically, I turned to Logo TV. Now, Logo, every gay-girl-in-a-straight-place’s savior, was playing L Word from the beginning, but it was edited… and that left something (read: a lot) to be desired. And then I saw the first episode of Gimme Sugar. I know what you’re thinking: Lady, this could have just been a rebound. You were stranded and desperate. Nothing can live up to The L Word. And I agree with you. The two really shouldn’t be compared... I honestly just needed a preface.

Even so, a year has come and gone, I still hate reality TV, and yet, I find myself watching reruns of this entertaining series, and that says something. The show’s first season takes place in LA, the second in Miami, and centers on a small group of lez/bi friends, their lives and their drama. But the best part? Charlene. What a (level-headed and nurturing) hottie! And that’s all I have to say about that...

Watch full episodes at and!/gimmesugar?v=app_4949752878&ref=ts.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Can't Think Straight vs. The World Unseen [**/****]

If you haven’t heard the name Shamim Sarif already, then let me quickly educate you. Shamim Sarif was born and raised in South Africa. She is an award winning writer and director, known to take her novels/short stories, translate them into screenplays and then make them into films. She is happily married to her wife, Hanan, and they have two children (or at least that is what I can deduce from her blog).

Shamim is best known in the LGBTQ sphere for her movies I Can’t Think Straight (2007) and The World Unseen (2007). The plotlines between these two movies, and the casting, have notable overlaps. Both star Sheetal Sheth and Lisa Ray (each unbelievably sexy in her own right), and feature Amber Rose Revah. And both follow two differing women, from two different cultures, one empowered, and the other closeted. However, there is a reason The World Unseen has received three awards and I Can’t Think Straight has not. The former movie was adapted from Shamim’s first, and award-winning, novel of the same title. Being from South Africa, there is blatantly more heart and soul in The World Unseen. The characters have more substance. Not to mention, I learned something: South Asians were not too uncommon in South Africa during Apartheid. And then there’s I Can’t Think Straight. At the risk of sounding harsh, I found the movie to be boring, rather shallow and predictably unrealistic. Basically, it was no different than many lesbian flicks out there: sex, drama, sex, idealistic ending (with a healthy serving of tongue-in-cheek humor). But I have to hand it to Shamim, I admire her work, I embrace the fact that she’s an incredibly empowered woman of color, and I appreciate what her visibility has provided for other queer South Asians.

In the meantime, I’ll be patiently waiting to see her latest films, Despite the Falling Snow and The Dreaming Spires.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Black Women Rule! T-shirts by Essence

Essence Magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary with these groovy “Black Women Rule!” t-shirts! What makes these t-shirts extra special is that I personally screen printed them through my job at American Trophy. If you think black women really do rule (I know I do), get one today! The color in this photo is a little off. The pink is actually a deeper, lovelier fuchsia (like the Essence logo in the top left corner of the above photo). Also, they are American Apparel t-shirts, so be sure to order a size up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

D.E.B.S.: Far-fetched, yet Endearing [****]

Throwback. I’m a personal fan of women who kick ass and maintain their femininity in the process (or women who kick ass and don’t give a damn about femininity). But D.E.B.S. accomplishes the former. This hilarious movie is making Lady’s list because of the sexy Jordana Brewster. Formerly a Tommy Hilfiger model, I first laid eyes on this sexy Brazilian temptress as Vin Diesel’s baby sis in The Fast and the Furious (2001). Three years later and all I can say is her role in D.E.B.S. is a step up. I’m not biased… promise.

I have to admit, D.E.B.S. is definitely a movie you have to be in the right mood for. It’s goofy, over the top and deliberately bad. The plot centers on teen-spy prodigy Amy (Sara Foster), who leads a squad of scantily clad spies, played by Devon Aoki (badass), Jill Ritchie (“dipshit”), and Meagan Good (swoon…!). It is the girls’ mission to capture super-villain Lucy Diamond (Brewster), but of course, opposites attract. Drama ensues. Yada, yada, yada. Watch the movie.

The romance between Amy and Lucy is heartwarming and not as over the top as this movie would have you think. From Lucy’s desperate attempts to find a dating scene to the long chats in bed with the one that finally floats her boat, D.E.B.S. doesn’t have to beg me for a solid four stars out of five.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Steps toward Equality: the NOH8 Campaign

Clockwise from top-left: NOH8 logo, cast members from The LNF Show,
Cherry Bomb, Charlene from Gimme Sugar (2nd from right)

NOH8 (no hate) is a silent campaign against Prop 8 started by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska. Bouska photographs his subjects with duct tape over their mouths to represent silencing legislation, in particular Proposition 8. In protest, his subjects have “NO H8” written on their cheeks. One of the most beautiful aspects of the NOH8 Campaign is that Bouska, equipped with invaluable resources, has taken on the responsibility of working at a grassroots level, photographing everyday people. But that’s not to say there aren’t celebrities in the campaign. From Meghan McCain to Jane Lynch, Isaiah Washington to Dr. Drew, big names, little names, straight names and gay names, the winds of change seems to have infected people from all walks of life.

Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker is no exception. In the case Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, CNN reported that Judge Walker ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional and in violation of the protection clause of the 14th Amendment. And though Walker’s ruling is a momentous victory for the United States, the war has yet to begin. Prop 8 supporters are anticipated to file a merits appeal to the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Even if both sides asked the court to fast-track the case, there’s no telling when a verdict will be reached, as there are no time constraints on the court to make a decision. Regardless, once a decision is finally reached, it is expected that lawyers of the losing side will ask the US Supreme Court to intervene. It could take a year or two before the case even reaches the Supreme Court’s doorsteps.

The road to equality is a long one. It always has been. It always will be. There’s only one thing to do: keep on fighting. To see if the NOH8 Campaign is coming to an area near you, check out their events calendar at And if you’re interested in reading more about Chief Judge Walker’s ruling, visit


Today I'd like to send a shout-out to's Gay & Lesbian section. Not only does Filmbaby provide a diverse selection within its G&L offerings, but it also isn't hyper-male dominated. (Too bad we can't say the same for Netflix.) But the fact that it has so many lesbian offerings might be due to the fact that Filmbaby is an emporium of exclusively low-budget indie films (to the extent that I couldn't even find Medicine for Melancholy... which I recommend seeing, if you haven't already. Disclaimer: the gayest thing about this movie is that it takes place in San Francisco). I guess what I'm trying to say is, you should check them out... your indie cred will thank you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Lovers and Friends Show [****]

I’m beginning to realize that a lot of lesbian shows have decided (or needed) to go the web series route. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I didn’t know the web series genre was so popular; so, of course, I started looking for series starring women of color. Imagine my excitement when I found The Lovers and Friends Show. It’s Noah’s Ark for lesbians and on a smidgen of the budget… I don’t mind. And even though I’m broke, it gave me nothing but pleasure and pride to invest in the first season dvd to help keep this wonderful series rolling.

The cast is entirely Black and Latina: Lisa, the closeted med student; Kai, the loyal friend with the psychotic ex-girlfriend; Yasmin, the activist with family issues and a crush on her sister’s best friend; Tori, the lovable, laughable hip-hop critic who’s screwing her boss; Mercedes, Tori’s boss who has “bad boundaries”; and Dre, the stud and the player. The acting is so-so but that’s to be expected (Did anyone re-watch the first season of The L-Word? Wow.). The plot line flowed better than I expected and by the last episode, the characters really started to shine through. I can only hope Showtime or HBO finds this show and decides to pick it up, but if not, it will go down as a cult classic for black lesbians nationwide. I give The LNF Show four stars out of five with nowhere to go but up.

There is a marathon of the first two seasons up on the show's Ning network( for the month of August only. now carries seasons 1 and 2, which can also be purchased through And finally, check out news and bios at