Saturday, April 30, 2016

PR All-St★rs 5, Ep 11, Briefly, And Ep 12: The Prints Of Ties

A brief recap of PR All-Stars 5, Ep 11 … where the challenge was to create a wearable piece of avant-garde art with a $400 Mood budget and two days to work; here’s the breakdown …
KEN [top left] was empowered by an artist who is empowered by empowered woman; his piece, with a slit for the model to see into the light, was the only thing that resembled avant-garde — though I agree with the judges who said it should have been longer — and so he wins.

KINI [top middle] created a gown, a very pretty gown, but the only thing avant-garde about it is the pretention … having the model wear a full black body suit. Other than that it’s just a Kini gown.

DOM [top right] took a mosaic piece of art and created a mosaic dress; the dress itself isn’t avant-garde, but the coat does give it an edge. So I guess it was Dom-vant-garde?

SAM [bottom left] saw a digital image of an owl and made a rainbow flag kite — as Alyssa called it — because nothing says LGBT equality like an owl? But his sad, draped mishmash nothing of a dress is safe while …

EMILY [bottom right] was inspired by the colors in a painting and created an almost literal translation of the piece; it’s not avant-garde, though it is cool, though not enough to cool down the producers love affair with Drapey Sam who should have gone home; Emily gets the boot.
Now, onto the last episode … PR All-Stars 5, Ep 12 …

Alyssa meets the designtestants on the runway wearing a digital billboard to advertize the show — seriously, talk about product placement. I figured this week would be the Electrified Design week, but, alas, I was wrong.

However, before we good get back to Billboard Alyssa she introduces special guest judge, Nina Motherf**king Garcia, Creative Director of Marie Claire and project runway diva icon judge, and even I begin to tremble.

Nina tells the designtestants that our iPhones and tablets and notebooks and whatever else you call your electronic thing-a-mah-bobs, are the new fashion accessory and that Otterbox — I’m such a luddite I thought it was AutoBox — uses fashion designers to create phone cases; to that end, one Barbara Meyer from Otterbox, steps onstage — and then quickly disappears … never to be seen or heard from again — to tell the designers that this week’s challenge is to create their own prints and then pair that print with another print purchased from Mood and that the winning designer will create an Otterbox case to be manufactured and sold worldwide. Um, Okay?

Let’s rip …
It’s clear Dom will win this and the producers don’t even bother with an Oh no! She’s going home! edit … though we get a mild scare when Zanna says she doesn’t really like Dom’s idea of painting stripes on the white leather coat.

Dom took her print and her Mood print and made a side-mullet dress worn under a longish leather zebra-stripe-looking coat … not my favorite look … the dress.


Nina Garcia likes the look, and Dom’s print, but she’s with me on the side-mullet. Alyssa, however, loves the asymmetry of the wrap dress though she wishes it wrapped the other way … which I think it could, given that it, um, wraps? And, naturally, Isaac and the Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ love the way Dom mixes prints and prints and prints and stripes.
He wants to give Dom a challenge — good luck with that — but then he returns to what he does best: an 80s-inspired Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan gown with starship shoulders and a tight fishtailed skirt. In a visit with former All-Star winner Anthony Ryan Auld, he’s told to sex it up because, well, grandma-looking.

Kini’s print, a leaf pattern — which was evident in his computer sketch but less so on the actual fabric — makes up the tuxedo-esque coat, while he uses his Mood print for the long skirt.


The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ loves the silhouette though she thinks Kini needs to reign himself in a bit, and Isaac agrees; he is not a fan of the “cheap” fabric lapels on the coat. Nina says she knew at once this was a “Kini Dress” but she also agrees that the look is over-designed.
He’s nervous; Ken don’t do prints! And he isn’t good at designing prints either, because he created a sad looking gray “textured” print that he used only on the top half of his look, and used his Mood print — a better looking one, I might add — as the skirt.


The Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ says “there is a lack of polish” in his look, which is odd coming from Ken; she also doesn’t care for his prints, both handmade and store-bought. Isaac thinks the proportions are off saying the skirt could have, should have, been shorter, and Nina says she likes the Mood print much better than the Ken print. Ken, I thought, would explode, but this new Ken simply nods and agrees with the judges … no one’s life is threatened during the critique.
I liked Sam’s print; it looked a little Hawaiian shirt, though he pixilated the print and made it seem more modern. But then he ruined all that by going for that same tired neoprene mesh he’s used challenge after challenge and making a jumpsuit like he’d made in at least three other challenges this season. He tried to justify both choices by saying he loves the mesh and that a jumpsuit is his “signature piece.” I think that means “I make the same look over and over until I get it right.”

Zanna loved the print, hated the mesh, hated the jumpsuit, and with good reason. The jumpsuit was a sack, and the mesh looked like those things you put under area rugs to keep them from sliding — and I know this because one of my chores while at my Dad’s house was to put the non-skid mats under the rugs.


Alyssa liked the print … as a phone cover, while the Beautiful Georgina Chapman™ called it “challenging” and the jumpsuit a bit lifeless. Nina likes the coat but not with the jumpsuit and Isaac … Thank You Missus Mizrahi … called out Sam for using the mesh again!
The judges deliberated for TV and then, surprise, Dom wins! She’ll make a mini-collection as will Kini. Quelle surprise.

Then they talk losers … Ken or Sam … and that’s when I note that the show is ninety minutes long this week and so I assume they’ll have Sam and Ken do a Sudden-Death-Redesign-In-A-Hot-Minute Challenge. And they do! Seriously, I saw that coming at least a mile away.

Suddenly, there are two “mystery” boxes with giant question marks on them, and a whole workroom behind Ken and Sam … as if we’re to believe that the producers decided at the last minute to have a Sew Off. Ken and Sam will have one hour to take a winning and a losing look from a previous challenge and make an all-new creation. Ken gets his winning look, and Mitchell’s losing look, from the Baroque challenge, while Sam gets Asha’s winner, and Alexander’s loser, from the Fairytale challenge.

Sam makes a micro-mini — Hi Fine China — dress and then, using Asha’s pants as sleeves and Alexander’s bodice, makes a jacket. But, as per usual, Sam’s construction is a hot mess — I haven’t seen so many loose threads since my crocheted thong unraveled at a pool party last year … just saying. Plus, even though the judges liked the bodice-backed jacket, it looked like a coat worn the wrong way; not a fan.

Ken used his original dress, but made it shorter and removed the beading and added a cap sleeve and tall collar with chiffon from Mitchell’s look. It was all Ken; sleek, sexy, strong … and well-made, given the hour he had.

And so, as the tick-tock begins I am thinking that if the producers send both to the finale I would cut a bitch … and make her into a sport coat … but in the end … sigh of relief … Sam’s out and Ken’s in.
Ninety minutes for this? Seriously, enough with the faux drama and the pre-planned OMG last minute redo challenge nonsense.

That said, I’m glad Sam is out; during last week’s episode when Ken went off on him about how all the other designers work and create and sweat while Sam basically drapes and pins, I knew I wanted Sam gone. It’s true; the others really worked at their looks week after week, while Sam draped and made circle skirts and jumpsuits. I’m happy with him gone.

And ... that said, I did think it was nice that Anger Management Ken took Sam aside and apologized for going off on his; he didn’t mean to be so harsh, though at least this time he didn’t hurl an iron. If only Kini had the balls to build a bridge and get over I Made That Look Gate.

But. Really PR? Why the return of the former All-Stars winners? Oh yeah, to fill ninety minutes. I mean, it was nice to see them all — mostly Mondo, whom I love — but it seemed like a colossal waste of time … airtime and my time.

And Ken will get many Lines of the Night for calling Dom the “Queen of Prints” and the “Goddess of Prints” and the “God of Prints” and then the “Prince of Prints” — that that last one stung a bit since Ken brought up the recently departed Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

I’m looking forward to the finale because these three will really put on a show and there will be fashion. And there will be blood … metaphorically speaking.

What did YOU think?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Post-Vacation Post ... Back Live Tomorrow: I Didn't Say It ...

Lynne Cheney, wife of War criminal Dick and Mother to Lesbian Daughter Mary, endorsing Ted Cruz at the Wyoming Republican Convention:

“It’s a special pleasure to introduce Senator Cruz…He has made quite clear his deep belief in the Constitution and conservatism. He is part of a young generation of rising leaders, constitutional conservatives that are pointing our country back to the fundamental values on which we’re based.”

It’s not a surprise that, since she married a man who bombed hundreds of thousands of innocent people to death, she’d go for Cruz … who wants to carpet bomb the entire Middle East, but why would the mother of an openly gay child endorse a man who has the support of Death To Gays Pastor Kevin Swanson, and who has vowed to end marriage equality.
That’s no mother, that’s a mother f**ker.
John Kasich, on what he would say, as president, to make young women feel safer about sexual harassment and rape:

“Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol. OK? Don’t do that.”

So, basically, he’ll blame the victim because she went to a party?
That’s in case anyone forgot that John Kasich is a Typical Woman-Hating-Blaming Republican.
Connie BrittonNashville star, the anti-LGBT legislation in Tennessee:

“It’s disturbing and it’s unjust [and] un-American. I shoot a TV show in Tennessee, and honestly, if they proceed with this, I’m not necessarily going to feel comfortable working there. [It’s] s tricky situation because of course we employ a lot of people in the state, and you certainly don’t want to have to interrupt that, but at the same time, this is the only way that we can have our voices be heard.”

Look, Hollywood can substitute for Nashville until Hate Bills are removed from the books.
Sela Ward, actress, on Mississippi's "religious freedom" Hate Bill:

“In recent days I have been asked about the religious objection law that was recently passed in Mississippi, my beloved home state. … Our history is replete with unfortunate incidents of discrimination and injustice that we have worked extremely hard to transcend. Yes, we are confronting new social and emotional challenges, but the passing of this law sadly sets us back.”

And who wants to go backwards, except for Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina … for now.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook mogul, on his plan for global interest in political issues:

“As I look around the world, I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against the idea of a connected world and a global community. I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others.’ I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases even for cutting access to the internet. It takes courage to choose hope over fear.”

Sadly, more people seem to be embracing fear and walls these days.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vacation Post: Kristi Merritt is An Ignorant Fool

Kristi Merritt of Washington has purchased a home in The Heights of Stupidty [and Ignorance] and is moving in!

Kristi Merritt posted a photo series to her Facebook page that attacks transgender people and applauds those so-called Bathroom Bills in North Carolina and Mississippi.

First, Kristi Merritt dresses up in a sombrero, holding a Corona, and standing in front of a bag of tortilla chips, holding a sign reading: “Does this make me a Mexican?”

Then Kristi Merritt donned a pirate costume and asked the same ignorant question.

And lastly, Kristi Merritt put a picture of a dress and said that wearing a dress does not make you a woman. 

Yup, despite the fact that no trans person has ever been arrested for sexual misconduct in a public bathroom in the United States of America Kristi Merritt says trans women should not be allowed to use women’s restrooms because they are just men in dresses.

Wearing a dress doesn’t make you a woman.

Wearing a sombrero doesn’t make you Mexican.

Wearing a pirate’s hat doesn’t make you a swashbuckler.

But all those thing put together with Kristi Merritt's transphobic, backwards, asshatted idiotic thinking make Kristi Merritt a complete bigot and an utter fool.

Again … Kristi Merritt is a bigot and a fool, no matter what outfit Kristi Merritt’s wearing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Vacation Post: Mississippi's Solution To Guns Is More Guns

Shortly after signing that heinous Hate Bill into law, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant quietly signed the Mississippi Church Protection Act.

At first I thought it was extra protection to keep The Gays out of churches lest we either spontaneously combust or convert some parishioners to our evil lifestyle but that wasn’t the case.

No, this new bill is to allow churches to legally have armed security if they choose and Phil Bryant, who uses fear to push his Hate Agenda, said he signed the bill because "churches deserve protection from those who would harm worshippers."

Except maybe a gay church because ….

State Representative and Republican Andy Gipson who authored the bill and is a minister — I guess that’s as separate as church and state get in Mississippi — said:
“I wish we lived in a world where this bill wouldn't be necessary."
Um, we would live in that world, you asshat, if you Republican politicians would stop taking bribes from the NRA to push their agenda and legislated for We The People and not We The Gun Lobby.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gio Marries Tommy

We used to watch Good morning America and whenever Gio Benitez appeared I would always remark that he was quite The Pocket Gay … fits nicely in a shirt pocket, a back-pack, or a man-purse.

And Carlos would say, “Is he gay?”

And I’d say, “I dunno, but he’s a cute Pocket Gay nonetheless.”

Then I saw pictures of Gio proposing to his boyfriend Tommy DiDario in Paris last year and I thought, “Yup, gay.”

And on April 16th, Gio married Tommy in Miami:
"It's so special to see how excited our friends and family have been about this wedding. It truly is a celebration of love – our own, and what love means in their own lives. We are so moved and humbled to celebrate together." — Gio Benitez
After their first kiss as husbands, the duo got the party started with their first dance to Il Volo's cover of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from Disney's The Lion King. 

Congrats to the happy, and totally adorable, and quite Pocket Gay, couple!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Vacation Post: ISBL Asshat of the Week: Drunk Driving Republican Tom Taylor

The GOP is home to the Family Values coalition, set up to protect children and women and Christians from the evils of the world, and o no one is more Family Values than Georgia Republican state Representative Tom Taylor.

Oh, and no one is more lying hypocritical Family Values Asshat than Tom Taylor because Taylor was stopped by Georgia police on April 7 and arrested for drunk driving.

That’s bad, but it gets worse; not only was Drunk Tommy putting every other driver on the road in danger because he chose to drive drunk he was also endangering the lives of the four children who were in the car with him at the time, though it’s not exactly clear who the kids were because Drunk Tommy and his wife only have a 23-year-old son.

That’s bad, but it gets worse; not only was Drunk Tommy driving drunk with children in the car but he was also carrying a loaded weapon in a holster.

That’s bad, but it gets worse; Drunk Tommy denied having anything to drink since having some wine the night before, but a search of the vehicle produced a water bottle which police said smelled of alcohol.

Howsabout that for Family Values: booze, kids and guns! Oh my.

Now, lest anyone think that maybe drunk Tommy had a beer after a hard day’s work spreading GOP hypocrisy, understand that when he was tested at the scene his blood alcohol level was .225 … almost three times the legal limit; and this all took place at 2:45 in the afternoon!

That’s bad, but it gets worse; one might think that being drunk and driving, with kids in the car and a loaded weapon strapped to your waist might bring with it a charge of “reckless endangerment” but not in Georgia; the gun was properly registered to Taylor, so there were no charges related to it. He was only charged with speeding, carrying an open container of alcohol and DUI.

Drunk Tommy and his Family Values Platform are in a tight primary fight against fellow Republican Tom Owens, and since this incident will only help him with the gun-toting, beer-swilling, redneck faction of the GOP, he issued a statement:
“I profoundly regret this serious mistake. There’s no one to blame but me, and I greatly appreciate the professionalism of the officers involved. This was my first run-in with the law in my life, and it will also be my last.”
Well, I don’t know if it’ll be his last run-in, but if it is, he definitely covered all bases: speeding, drunk driving, open bottle of liquor, endangering children and carrying a loaded firearm.

Gotta love those GOP Family Values.

And you gotta love an ISBL Asshat of the Week!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Vacation Post: Bayard Rustin's Residence Added To The National Historic Register

Earlier this month the U.S. National Park Service added the Manhattan residence of famed gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin to its National Register of Historic Places.

Bayard Rustin — read more about him HERE and HERE — was, among other things, the lead organizer of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. Bayard Rustin led for many years the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an organized labor advocacy organization; he worked for Freedom House, a human rights organization, and, in the mid-1980s he recognized the struggle for Lesbian and Gay civil rights and lobbied the New York City government to support the lesbian and gay rights bill.

He purchased apartment 9J in a high-rise apartment building in the West Chelsea section of Manhattan in 1962 and lived there until his death in 1987. In 1977, Bayard’s partner, Walter Naegle, moved into the apartment and continues to live there, preserving it almost exactly as Rustin left it.

From the National Park Service:
“Bayard Rustin, a gay African American Quaker, civil rights advocate, proponent of non-violence, and campaigner for social and economic justice, had an impact on many of the nation’s social justice achievements since the 1930s. In the course of his quarter-century residence in Penn South, Rustin organized and led the August 28, 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C.”
LGBT history advocate Mark Meinke said the addition of the Rustin residence to the National Register of Historic Places represents the seventh LGBT-related site to be recognized, “with more to come.”

Bayard Rustin was a hero to the African American Community, the LGBT community, the human community, and is so deserving of this particular honor.

The march goes on …

Friday, April 22, 2016

Vacation Post: Dodged That Bullet

Earlier this week, while perusing  this interwbz thingy, I came across a story that, while Texas's solicitor general, Ted Cruz defended a a state ban on the sale of ... dildos:
“There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”
But, as happens with politicians running for office, Teddy has flipped on that topic, telling WABC's Curtis Sliwa that he would not ban “the sale of sexual toys, dildos, or anything that sexually stimulates you”:
“Look, of course not, it’s a ridiculous question, and of course not. What people do in their own private time with themselves is their own business and it’s none of government’s business.”
Funny then, that was 'agin' it before he was 'fer' it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Vacation Post: 7 Transgender Women You Should Know Besides Caitlyn Jenner

Every year on March 31, Transgender Day of Visibility highlights the accomplishments of transgender people. It's a day for transgender people to celebrate their community but also a day for the cisgender — people who are not trans — public to recognize the achievements of the transgender community and begin to see everything they can accomplish given the access and the opportunity. 

There are very few media narratives that celebrate the rich diversity of the transgender community, especially trans women, whose stories are often about the latest victim of trans violence or of the privileged Caitlyn Jenner. But there are many other trans women whose names you should know …

Bamby Salcedo 
As a Mexican transgender woman and a member of the immigrant community, Bamby Salcedo has been a leader in several activist movements, including immigration, HIV, LGBTQ issues, prison reform and the Latino community.

She formed Angels of Change, a transgender youth empowerment program; the TransLatina Coalition, through which she helped compile the report "TransVisible: Transgender Latina Immigrants in U.S. Society" and began TransLivesMatter National Day of Action. She's also the star and subject of the film TransvisibleSalcedo has garnered numerous recognitions and awards for her accomplishments — the Advocate named her one of 13 LGBT Latinos changing the world and Colorlines named her among one of 14 women of color who rocked in 2014.

Jennifer Finney Boylan
If you watch I Am Cait, then you know the actual star is Jenner's friend and transgender author, Jennifer Finney Boylan. She has authored 13 books, has her hand in multiple pots including appearing in and consulting for I Am Cait, and as a consultant on Amazon's Transparent

Boylan is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is a professor at Barnard College and serves as the national co-chair of the board of directors for GLAAD.

Jennicet Gutiérrez 
If you don't know her name, you may have at least heard her voice. Jennicet Gutiérrez is the transgender Latina who caused a media stir when she yelled out to President Barack Obama during the White House's LGBT Pride Month reception in 2015: 
"President Obama, release all LGBTQ in detention centers," Gutiérrez yelled out during the reception. "President Obama, stop the torture and abuse of trans women in detention centers."
An undocumented transgender woman, Gutiérrez is an organizer with Famlilia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. Since her infamous shout to the president, she's been a leading voice in both the trans and undocumented movements.

Monica Roberts 
Roberts is an award-winning activist and the founding editor at TransGriot, a blog dedicated to a view of the world through the eyes of a transgender black woman. Her writings have been featured in the Advocate, the Bilerico Project and Ebony

Roberts works to empower people of color in the trans community to use their voices and to shed light on the struggles of all LGBTQ people in the African Diaspora. Aside from her journalism, she's also lobbied for change at both the state and local levels in Kentucky and Texas. She was part of the movement that passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which was then famously struck down by voters in November after a smear campaign reduced it to a few unfounded myths about transgender women in bathrooms. 

Jen Richards 
Jen Richards is the co-writer and co-producer of Her Story, a trans-themed YouTube series, and was also a series regular on I Am Cait. Richards founded the Trans 100, an annual list of the trans community's trendsetters, and created We Happy Trans, a website dedicated to telling positive transgender stories. In fact, Richards is quite the creator: She started the WTF Trans Dating and Trans Love Stories Tumblrs as well as monthly online Twitter #transchat and the Chicago-based group No Boys Allowed. 

Aside from writing and highlighting transgender voices, she was also the managing director of Grammy Award-winning contemporary classical ensemble eighth blackbird and president of New Music Chicago

Angelica Ross 
Her Story has another electrifying actress: Angelica Ross, the executive director and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, a design firm and training academy that empowers, educates and employs members of the trans community and promotes entrepreneurship. 

She acts, sings, writes and works to make sure trans people have better economic prospects: What's not to love? 

Eden Lane
If you're wondering if there are trans people delivering the news rather than making it, look no further than Eden Lane, TV's first openly transgender news personality and an award-winning reporter based in Colorado. She was also the first openly transgender person to cover a major political event for PBS when she covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Though she is known for covering politics, she has lately shifted to covering Colorado's vibrant arts and theater scene. She even got to host her own show, In Focus with Eden Lane:
"I'm so grateful to my station for taking a chance with me. I wanted to be a journalist, not the 'first trans journalist.' I didn't have an agenda. I wanted to — and still want to — do good work. I never hid who I was, but I didn't lead with it, either. I am just another journalist who wants to be good at what I do." 
So, there you have it, seven names you should know going forward, but there are many more. Current estimates show that there are as many as 700,000 people who identify as transgender in the United States, and they're each talented in their own ways.

They are not Cait.