As the holidays are upon us, it’s time to take stock of who did what to whom and how often this past year in the realm of lesbian entertainment. Along with the standard comings out, there were also some televised smack-downs, illicit (and alleged) love affairs, sweet-talking, trash-talking, partner-swapping and the sad trip back into the closet for those unfortunate lesbians and bisexual women (fictional and all too real) for whom the whole lesbian "thing" just didn’t stick.
For the naughty ones, we offer lumps of greenhouse gas-emitting, global warming-inducing coal. For the women (and men) who made good for all lesbian kind, we offer some gold-plated goggles. Why goggles? Because what little visibility lesbian and bisexual women have enjoyed in the media this year has been because of the good work and words of people like them.
NAUGHTY GIRLS (AND GUYS) MAY NEED LOVE TOO, BUT THEY WON’T BE GETTING IT FROM US
1. Venus publisher Charlene Cothran goes straight for God, takes her magazine with her
Charlene Cothran, publisher of Venus — one of the few magazines by and for black lesbians — renounced her own lesbianism early this year, and in doing so, changed the course of Venus. According to the Venus website:
The new mission of Venus magazine is to encourage, educate and assist those who desire to leave a life of homosexuality. Our ultimate mission is to win souls for Christ, and to do so by showing love to all God’s people. We believe that homosexuality is outside of the will of God. We know that many new and longtime Venus readers have been instilled with a belief system that is in line with this teaching but are still living ‘in the life’. Many desire change and wonder if they can be accepted into the family of God ‘just as they are’. The answer is YES! These readers will find the new Venus an anointed and refreshing tool for kingdom work.
In the inaugural straightened issue of Venus (February 2007), Cothran wrote the cover story, "Redeemed! 10 Ways to Get Out of the Gay Life, If You Want Out," and in it proclaimed: "I must come out of the closet again. I have recently experienced the power of change that came over me once I completely surrendered to the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a believer of the word of God, I fully accept and have always known that same-sex relationships are not what God intended for us."
However, Cothran was still in the giving spirit, continuing to send the revamped Venus to the 38,000
sinners subscribers who had originally signed up for something completely different.
2. Bill O’Reilly rumbles with lesbian "gangs" and teens
With so few lesbian and bisexual women represented on network television this year, perhaps we should thank Bill O’Reilly for throwing us some publicity. Well, maybe not. O’Reilly was obsessed with us this year, attempting to scare up a lesbian panic several times in 2007.
Bill O’Reilly and "Fox crime analyst" Rod Wheeler asserted that the lesbian gang "GTO, Gays Taking Over, are involved in raping young girls" in Tennessee, and that in Philadelphia the lesbian gang "DTO, Dykes Taking Over, are allegedly terrorizing people, as well." Our weapons of choice? Knives, fists and, naturally, pink guns. Pink? This is obviously a fabrication!
O’Reilly also played the old kiddie "recruitment" card, asking Wheeler, "When they recruit the kids, are they indoctrinating them into homosexuality?"
His sidekick in stupidity answered, "Yes, as a matter of fact, some of these kids have reported being forced into performing sex acts and doing sex acts with some of these people."
Luckily, there were people lining up to debunk his misinformation, but that didn’t stop O’Reilly from doing more of the same. Shortly thereafter, he made a big stink of the fact that at Waukegan High School in Illinois, girlfriends Brandy Johnson and Lupe Silva were named the "Cutest Couple" in a poll for the senior yearbook. O’Reilly thought the whole thing was just a rebellious stunt, but one that was dangerous because it "normalized" homosexuality for teens. Like that’s a bad thing.
So, basically, according to Bill O’Reilly, lesbians of all ages are, in one way or another, in the process of taking over the world. Which means that maybe instead of giving him a big, dirty lump of coal, we should be giving him an AfterEllen.com Vision Award.