‘Orange Is the New Black’ Actress Talks About Her Transgender Sister

Actress Selenis Leyva

Selenis Leyva
Photo: Elise Gannett (via METROWEEKLY)

While most of the focus on transgender issues related to the Netflix series Orange is the New Black (ONTB) has been focused on actress Laverne Cox, Washington, D.C.’s METROWEEKLY magazine shows us that there is another actress of the series who has a transgender connection. Selenis Leyva, who plays Gloria Mendoza, has a sister who is transgender:

MW: When did it become apparent that Marizol was, in fact, more than gay, that she was transgender?

LEYVA: Shortly after coming out — under two years. She began to go secretly outside dressed as a woman shortly after coming out as a gay male. She would hide her women’s clothing in her room. She would then leave for school and change in the basement before going outside. I’d find the clothes, my mother would find the clothes. And we felt like we had to respect whatever she needed to go through. So we never confronted her.

I confronted her when she first came out. I said, Continue reading

Posted in Television, Transgender | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Music Video Review: Maddie & Tae’s ‘Girl in A Country Song’

Boy what a great video and a great song! I love that it takes the convention of the bikini-clad hottie and, as the video illustrates literally, role reverses it (the scenes with the strawberries and the diaphanous curtains alone are worth the watch). Keep your ears out for the name-checks of song titles, especially one of Jason Aldean’s tunes at the end.

Maddie & Tae are terrific singers. Their harmonious, twangy voices help take a clever concept and execute it with a catchy rhythm. And they sure do look like they are having fun. I expect that this tune will get a lot of playlist requests due it being right on target as to how some women feel, its humor, and the great voices of Maddie & Tae.

I got to give some yee-haw cheers to the he three guy “models” as well. They sure give it their all in this vid; upping the humor factor of the video a good five notches.

‘Girl In A Country Song’ was written by Maddie, Tae and songwriter, Aaron Scherz.

Learn more about Maddie & Tae

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why It Gets Better: Smithsonian Museum Collects LGBT History

I have said to many a person that I’m keeping my own personal memorabilia for the day the Smithsonian opens the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) museum. Now, it looks like the Smithsonian may be ready to accept some of those items, though there is no plan yet for a building:

From the Washington Blade

“The pursuit of civil rights in America is woven throughout our history,” museum director John Gray said in a statement. “It is a tale of struggle and accomplishment as the nation strives to fulfill its ideals. We are grateful to our donors for assisting us to fulfill our mission to help the public understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more human future,” he said.

The statement didn’t say Continue reading

Posted in LGBT History | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Washington, D.C.’s LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline

METROWEEKLY reports on a partnership between the D.C. Office of Victim Services (OVS), Helping Individual People Survive (HIPS) and Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) to establish a 24 hour crisis hotline for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community:

Cyndee Clay, the executive director of HIPS, says the current 24-hour hotline geared toward victims of violence came about after The DC Center applied for a grant through OVS.

“The DC Center actually approached us, and let everyone know they were potentially going to apply for a grant,” Clay says. “And so we approached them and said, ‘Hey, we’ve run a hotline, we’ve run a crisis line, we’ve run crisis intervention. We’ve got the Continue reading

Posted in activism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Evolving Language of LGBTs: Animal Classifications

In a previous post, I blogged about Fusion TV’s trip to Bear Week. In the short television clip, they provided definitions on the different classifications of Bears within that community subgroup: Polar Bear, the older bear type; Cub, the younger bear type; Otter, a slim guy with body hair.

Now that you are familiar those terms do you know your Marmosets from your Pekes and Afghans? Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fusion TV Brings You A Bear Week Review

The blog, Joe. My. God., reports that Fusion TV will be airing a program on the networks trip to Bear Week in Provincetown, Mass. Bear week is an event that takes place in Provincetown every year the week after July 4 for those burlier, hairier men of the gay community.

From the Fusion TV website:

During the second week of July, Provincetown, Massachusetts is invaded with bears. For an entire week, close to 10,000 gay, hairy and rugged men gather at the tip of Cape Cod to have some fun.

“The Bear community differs in the sense that there is this different ideal in terms of what the aesthetic is,” says Matthew J. Dempsey, a clinical counselor that specializes on helping gay men.

Bears are an established subgroup of gay men with their very own flag and distinctions among the community.

But what exactly is a bear? Continue reading

Posted in Television | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Pride In the Moment’ Photography Project from Gay Games 9

Gay Games 9 is being held this week in Cleveland, Ohio and a group of photographers are bringing you the day-by-day imagery and action of the athletes.

Photographers in residence will be at cultural and sporting events capturing images from the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation. The exhibition will come alive with images representing this unique event in northeast Ohio.

View the Pride in the Moment photography exhibit

Posted in sports | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment