The Other Girls by Juliana Finch

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xFIjplFQMM

The Other Girls by Juliana Finch – Lyrics

Sitting up on the roof at our parents’ house
counting the days until we could get out
One more Monday coming on fast
For the small town survivors at the head of the class.

They asked were we fine
We said yes every time
Hoping that someone would see through the lie

Chorus:
We were the other girls
raised on pretending
that there was a part for us
in that storybook ending
Now that we’re grown
we see we’re not alone
and what did we find?
The other girls were here all the time

Pushing on through, keeping our heads down
Dodging sticks and stones with our hearts on the ground
Running out of places to keep all that shame
Until just one someone calls us by our name

And says I see who you are
and I know your scars
because they’re the same ones I’ve got on my heart

Chorus

Sitting up on the roof of your parents’ house
Counting the days until you can get out

It Gets Better – A Music Video By Rebecca Drysdale

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTQNwMxqM3E

It Gets Better by Rebecca Drysdale – Lyrics

Amanda is in gym class where the kids go to get fit,
But her eye’s not on the ball at all — it’s on Ms. Foster’s tits.
She’s got a dirty little secret (“shhh”) that everybody knows.
She came out, but she wishes she had left the closet closed.

And here is little Davey hiding in the piano room,
Playing Wicked, Rent, Chicago, Cats and Brigadoon.
He’s hiding from the locker room and jocks who roam the halls,
Where he’s safe from wedgies, shiners and destruction of his balls…

But when they call you weirdos, fags, and rejects, flamers, gays and hags,
Baby dykes and homotikes, Lesbos, homos, and queer bags,
It might seem like it’s hopeless and will never be ok,
But listen to the ones who care — believe them when they say:

IT GETS BETTER

One day you’ll look back and you won’t give a fuck
When your swimming through your pussy vault like Scrooge Fucking McDuck.
And when you’re snatching your first Grammy — super glammy lookin’ slick —
It won’t be much time till they get in line for a chance to suck your dick.

IT GETS BETTER

It wasn’t long till they told Johnny that he wasn’t normal
When he wore a strapless gown and high heels to his junior formal.
But the cool guys they felt passionately that his chosen fashion
Was a rationalization for a rash of Johnny bashin’.

Everyone made fun of Shannon cause she kissed a girl.
So she hid her head and closed her mouth and shut out all the world.
She is brilliant, smart and funny, kind and talented — but hey —
It doesn’t matter what she is cause all she is to them is gay.

But when they call you carpet munchers, fudge packers, and queens,
Lesbians in training, Marys, Nelly, Nancy teens,
It might seem like you’re different, weird, unusual or strange,
But hang in there cause things have always and will always change.

IT GETS BETTER

Jon’s a stylist and he’s gotten pretty far.
Now he doesn’t get his ass kicked but his ass kissed by the stars.
And when Shannon got to college she met people just like her,
And she realized who the d-bags and the fuckheads really were.

IT GETS BETTER

Jane Lynch, Boy George, Versace,
Adam Lambert, Liberace,
Elton, Tim Gunn, Michael Stype,
Ellen, Rosie, Wanda Sykes.

Jodie Foster, Linda Perry
Gandalf the Wizard? — actually a fairy.
Simon Amstell, K.D. Lang.
Even Brando like some wang.

Rachel Maddow (huge muff diver),
Richard Hatch who won Survivor,
Nathan Lane, Truman Capote,
Even Obiwan Kenobi.

Billy Joe from Greenday’s bi,
Ricky Martin — big surprise!
Doogie Howser — what a showman.
Dave Hyde Pierce and all the Romans.

Tommy Tune and Alvin Ailey,
Meredith Baxter, Leisha Hailey.
Lohan, Paquin both are bi.
Boy George and George Takei.

Cher has a transgendered child.
George Michael and Oscar Wild,
Everyone involved in Glee,
One-tenth of everyone you know — and me!

All of them were just like you.
It got better for them, and it will for you too.

IT GETS BETTER

If you’re gay or bi or something in between,
There’s no one who is meaner than a bunch of asshole teens.
Those assholes are the first people that you will soon forget
When you’re living life and learning how much better it can get….

IT GETS BETTER

Dana And Kitzis Under The Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

I like Dana International. As I have said in the past, her winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998 was a giant leap for gay acceptance in general and particularly for transsexual visibility. As a judge on Israeli Pop Idol in recent years, just by appearing in the living rooms of millions of Israelis, I believe she does more for LGBTQ equality than any Supreme Court decision could ever do.

But this post is not about her. It’s about 012 Smile, the Israeli telecommunications provider and their recent TV spot featuring Dana and Israeli comedian Eyal Kitzis who play themselves in a kind of alternative reality:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZq4wSGcF0g

You see, LGBT acceptance is not binary; It has different shades, different grades. At the very far end there are those who define their so-called progressiveness with letting queer people live their lives just as long as they themselves don’t have to hear about it. The other side is closer to what 012 show us:
– In the ad Dana International is not asexual. This particular M2F has a male boyfriend, Kitzis, who is straight, and whom she fondly calls “Kitzi-Kitzi”.
– She also has a home, a family, a father that, much like ours, got mad when we talked too much on the telephone.
This parallel-universe-Dana seems to have had a childhood in the eighties quite similar to ours, and while all this may seem trivial to progressive-thinking-homo-lovin’ readers, it is probably not trivial to their parents.

You see, I complain quite a bit about Israeli advertising, about its lack of creativity and its sexist undertones, but for putting this ad on Israeli Channel 2 at prime time, all I can say is:
Bravo! Bravo, 012, bravo!
If advertising is harmful in its core, I believe this ad does quite a bit of good.

Continuing With Pride – LGBT Rally This Saturday in Tel-Aviv

Go back to being fabulous
Ignore the pain inside
Find some compensation
for all the love denied
After all that we’ve been through
only tears can tell the truth
 
  – – “For All of Us” – from the musical “Closer To Heaven” by Pet Shop Boys

Impromptu Rally After Tel-Aviv Gay Youth Killing, Tel-Aviv, August 1, 2009Last Saturday a masked gunman opened fire in a gay youth club in Tel Aviv, killing a 26 year old male and a 16 year old female and injuring eleven others, before fleeing the scene. The event rendered me speechless. I have been searching for the right words ever since and just now decided to give up that and use this platform to call people to action instead.

This coming Saturday a demonstration will be held in Tel-Aviv, supporting the gay community. Titled ‘Continuing With Pride’ this event will mark one week since the shooting and will be a more organized event, as opposed to the impromptu rallies that were held all over the country in the last few days. Singers will sing (Rita, Ninet, Ivri, Margol, Dana), speakers will speak (Mayor, ministers, MKs), but most importantly people will stand. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and loads of straights will make a stand for democracy, pluralism and freedom. Worldwide solidarity events are planned for the same time in Warsaw, Paris, Berlin, Bern and Madrid.

What: LGBT Demonstration
Where: Rabin Square, Tel-Aviv, Israel
When: Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 8:30pm
Why: Stand against homophobia and transphobia
Who: You, me, all of us
How much: Admission is free

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Pride 2009 by Jon Gilbert Leavitt

In celebration of the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion of June 28, 1969 which led to the birth of gay pride, an incredible song was just released by Jon Gilbert Leavitt. In less than 6 minutes the video summarizes the ups and downs and all the middle of LGBTQ triumph and turmoil.

Here’s the video, make sure you turn on the closed captioning so that you would not miss a word. Also, if you’re an Israeli – don’t blink at the 4:36 minute mark.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEpqTIolLps

Continue reading Pride 2009 by Jon Gilbert Leavitt

Entertainment Weekly Deems Israeli Film One of 50 Sexiest Movies Ever

If you haven’t had the chance to see the Israeli feature film Yossi & Jagger, here’s another reason why you should: Entertainment Weekly just released a list of the 50 Sexiest Movies Ever, and at 49th place the 2002 movie just made the cut. Here’s what EW had to say:

Yossi & Jagger DVD | Amazon.comThe titular men (Ohad Knoller and Yehuda Levi) are sturdy Israeli soldiers stationed at an icy outpost on the Lebanese border. Like a less tormented version of Brokeback Mountain’s Jack and Ennis, they keep their coupling a secret.
Sexiest Moment: The guys go at it, fully clothed, on a snowy hillside. Because we see mostly close-ups of their faces as they make out, joke, and laugh, what’s sexy is their sweet delight in one another.

You can buy the movie here, and download or rent it here. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Sexiest Movies Ever, and their 25 Least Sexy Movies Ever.

Mom, I Didn’t Kill Your Daughter

Jonathan Danilowitz, Adir Steiner, Uzi Even, Tal and Avital Yaros-Hakak – each of these individuals have helped Israel shape its laws and grant equal rights for queer people, that much cannot be disputed – but I contend that all these people have helped very little in softening the collective Israeli heart towards gay people, compared to one transsexual singer who granted Israel its first Eurovision Song Contest victory in nineteen years. As simplistic (dare I say, moronic) as that may sound, I believe that when Dana International performed on stage in Birmingham, England in 1998, she granted mothers and fathers from the generation right above mine a night of many firsts, as for most of them it was the first time they ever rooted for a queer person and the first time a queer individual had flooded them with feelings of pride and patriotism.

Just like straight men have an easier time accepting the idea of lesbians over gay men, as it is not perceived as a threat to their own masculinity, I believe that many straight men and women have an easier time accepting the idea of transgendered people over other queer individuals, as it is not perceived as a threat to the boy-meets-girl dogma.

Being a minority, any minority, is probably not much fun wherever you may live, but the fact that this country is so tiny must make it that much harder for individuals to surround themselves with enough people that love them, so that they would not be forced to constantly see the masses that hate them. This coming Thursday, Israeli Channel 10 will feature a documentary named ‘Mom, I Didn’t Kill Your Daughter‘ about two F2M transsexuals living in Israel who are also a couple. The film, directed by Orna Ben-Dor, received rave reviews in festivals around the world.

Here’s a snippet:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4RmwE4NCGU

‘Mom, I Didn’t Kill Your Daughter’ will air this coming Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 9pm on Israeli Channel 10. You can also watch it online here. Happy Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom from slavery!

What I Hate About American Political Correctness

PC is great! I really love it! Replacing pejorative terms with neutral ones makes a lot of sense and I even think it takes quite a bit of courage. Just this week, the hearing impaired parents of a fallen Israeli soldier were called deaf-mutes by the Israeli media, even by TV channels that featured interviews in which the so-called mute father spoke coherently about his loss.

What I hate about American Political Correctness is the notion that anything bad one might say can be taken back by an apology. Made a catastrophic faux pas? No worries! As long as you are on US soil you can just apologize and move on. Forgiveness is automatic.

Recently, Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern gave a speech in which she expressed her anti-gay beliefs. After the speech was secretly recorded and made public, The Cimarron Alliance, a local LGBT group asked Speaker of the House that she be censured if she does not apologize. I completely understand the request for a censure, but what use would an apology make? Anyone who listens to her speech can appreciate how articulate her hatred is, and how she firmly believes homosexuality is “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam”. It is quite possible that public pressure will force her to apologize in a day or two, but what good does an apology do when it comes from someone who thinks gays “want to get our young children into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them”.
 
 

Aside:
There are now claims that Rep. Kern is the not-so-proud mother of a gay son named Jesse. Yes, it is a worn out cliché and it should not make a difference, but it needs to be pointed out. Mysteriously, her official bio page was very recently changed and now does not mention any of her children:

Before (March 4, 2008) After (March 13, 2008)
[singlepic id=53 w=220 h=600 float=center] [singlepic id=52 w=220 h=600 float=center]

Fräulein Maria Would Never Say That Word

The L Word Title (Season 1)

Been catching up on my TV lately, trying to cram five years of The L Word in just a couple of weeks. When the 2nd season premiere started and I noticed a new theme song, I started pouting, as I really liked the 1st season’s pseudo theme song consisting of ten seconds of electronic sounds:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


…but by the second time I heard the new theme song I had a smile plastered all over my face: if there is something I love more than a cover version – it is a reference to another song, an homage of sorts, the use of our common experiences as a language.
The new theme song by NYC-based rock band BETTY puts a twist on ‘My Favorite Things’ from the ‘The Sound of Music’. Taking the wholesome character of Maria and twisting her words is brilliant in so many ways.

Have a listen to the theme song, preceded by the relevant part from The Sound of Music:

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My Favorite Things
 
Girls in white dresses
With blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay
On my nose and eyelashes
 
  The Way That We Live
 
Girls in tight dresses
Who drag with mustaches
Chicks drivin’ fast
Ingénues with long lashes
Women who long, love, lust
Women who give
This is the way
It’s the way that we live
 
Talking, laughing, loving, breathing,
fighting, fucking, crying, drinking,
riding, winning, losing, cheating,
kissing, thinking, dreaming.
 
This is the way
It’s the way that we live
It’s the way that we live
And love

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

In light of the 2007 Israeli Pride Parade, commencing today at noon in Tel-Aviv, and later this month in Jerusalem (God willing), and in light of two recent articles discussing the ‘Glass Closet‘ (Michael Musto for Out Magazine, Gal Uchovsky for Time Out Tel-Aviv), I just wanted to convey it is a shame that successful people in the media cannot summon up the courage it takes to come out of the closet, and become a role model for teenagers struggling in life. Izhar Cohen missed the opportunity to tackle gay invisibility in the seventies, Ofra Haza missed the opportunity to raise AIDS awareness in the nineties, but it is never too late to be a hero in the eyes of Israeli teens. I reckon that singers with sold-out events and songwriters who write hit songs about love, have no business avoiding what everyone in this tiny country already knows.

Here are some positive role models:

Dana International Ivri Lider Rona Kenan
Nitzan Horowitz Korin Allal Miki Buganim
Assi Ezer Amir Fey-Guttman Yehudit Ravitz
Yehuda Poliker Harel Skaat Orna Banai

And others who can be positive role models:

Izhar Cohen Sarit Hadad Dafna Rechter

 

In a changing world
There’s so much you could be
Why can’t you choose your self
Like your enemy?
Have you ever imagined
A new you?
I could be someone else
Somebody new.
 
I want a positive role model
 
  – – From The Musical ‘Closer To Heaven’ by the Pet Shop Boys

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfwKx8HTZ7w

Update: On December 23, 2009 singer-songwriter Yehudit Ravitz finally came out as a lesbian. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.

Update #2: On March 18, 2010 singer-songwriter Yehuda Poliker sorta-kinda came out. In a Channel 10 documentary film he used wording that left many disappointed. On July 16, 2010 in a newspaper interview in Yedioth Ahronoth, Poliker finally admitted falling in love in the past with men. Only then was this post finally updated to reflect the news.

Update #3: On October 22, 2010 singer Harel Skaat came out as gay. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.

Update #4: On December 30, 2011 comedienne Orna Banai came out as a lesbian. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.