Morning Brew – Monday, September 13: The U.S. Boxing Team’s out butch boxer, Mila Kunis wins at Venice for “Black Swan”


Morning all! Are you recovering OK from your VMAs viewing party or True Blood finale fiesta? We’ll have a full rundown on the awards show for you today, but I have a few thoughts I’d like to share.

First, Robyn deserved a longer performance. Second, as @thestephers told me about before I had the chance to watch, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj were eyeroll-worthy while on stage talking about men, and Lady Gaga and Cher were born to collaborate. Make this happen!

On to the lesbian news!

The Daily Brink is a new online magazine that launched today with a butch lesbian boxer as its cover subject. Patricia Manuel is a 25-year-old member of the USA Boxing Team and will be the first female boxer to compete for the US in the 2012 Olympics. In the interview with The Daily Brink, Manuel says being herself is inspiring to her, but also the hardest part of her career.

The discrimination that I feel. Not from people or from coaches, but mostly from organizations. I had a great year in 2009 and won the U.S. Championship, but got no press. All of my male friends and other females have gotten coverage, but I got ignored. I don’t want to make any conclusions, but females are based upon their looks and mine is definitely not mainstream. I look at the girls around me getting the press coverage – more power to them – and I don’t fit. The media always has these lines about these girls who box, but there are always some quotes about her beauty. It’s great, but it’s about the sport. It’s about the level. If you can believe it, this is actually the first interview I ever got!

I, for one, am glad to know about her, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

French filmmaker Claude Chabrol passed away over the weekend. Chabrol’s film Les Biches (The Does) was about a lesbian relationship breaking up when a man enters the picture.

We could blame him for starting the trend, but we’ll just say RIP.

One Bloody Thing After Another is a new book about zombies, but that’s the least of the characters’ worries. As a reviewer notes, “…everyone has problems, be it a ghost mother, a zombie mother, a stupid dog or being a lesbian.” Being a lesbian is a problem? I thought it was a magical gift to share with all the ladies in the world, before they eat my brains.

Mila Kunis won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role in Black Swan. Despite being the festival’s opening film, that was the only award it received. The Queer Lion Award went to En el futuro for “portraying and displaying, in short episodes, spontaneous and solid love, regardless of whether it is straight or gay.”

Jeanne Cooper has played Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless since 1973, so she’s seen her share of drama (and husbands). In an interview with, she discusses soap operas having gay storylines, specifically the possibility of one on Y&R:

The thing of it is, in order to get this group of people around the world to get it out of their minds that they are two gay people, they’ll just have to be two people of the same sex. That’s what has to be pushed to people so they can’t say, “Ew, two gay guys.”

They’re only thinking of the graphics rather than … even a lesbian association … only thinking of the graphics rather than the brilliance of people. Their sexuality is their choice. That doesn’t make them a whole person or make them who they are. That’s what I said to Thom when he was discussing it. I said, “You have to bring something to people.” Otherwise, well, we know that Victor Newman never loses and he’s always in control. If he changed you wouldn’t like him.

They’ve done the gay stories on the other shows and lost some people because of it, but it can also be used to educate people. Everybody is so concerned about everybody’s sex life.

Victor Newman! My Grandma loves him. She’d freak if he turned out gay, which is probably why it needs to happen. Still, I’d prefer some lesbians on Y&R myself. Let’s not forget Clementine Ford is on the show.

On a recent episode of the TNT series Memphis Beat, viewers were introduced to Sgt. Birdie Thorpe, an out lesbian detective played by M. Denise Lee. Here’s the whole episode, in which she puts her sexually harassing male co-workers in their place. has a column called “30 Days of Hate: Scraping the Bottom of the Netflix Instant Barrel,” where they review the movies Netflix subscribers can watch on their computers. One recent pick is Evil Remains, a horror flick from the director of SLC Punk. writes that Estella Warren and Ashley Scott “have an amusingly unconvincing lesbian relationship that eventually morphs into Scott flipping her shit like a soap opera mental patient, and Warren basically looking unamused the entire time.” Sounds like one of those films you watch when you want a really good laugh and have some time to waste.

Mischa Barton says she regrets how her character, Marissa, acted on The O.C.. While on the UK show When Fearne Met Mischa, Barton said:

As fun as it was and cool as it was, it spawned all these reality TV shows like The Real O.C. and The Real Laguna or whatever. That’s gotten a bit out of control… For me, it’s a bit funny because I feel like I almost aided the problem for young girls and for that genre.

Let’s hope she’s not referring to Marssa’s foray into bisexuality with Olivia Wilde. But yes, Mischa, we blame you for reality TV.

The Guardian penned an in-depth profile of Sinead O’Connor where you learn about her house, her feelings about Catholicism, her career and her new love of three-piece suits. If you’re a fan of hers, or simply one of those fascinated by her eccentricity, I recommend reading it.

Randee Heller plays Jon Hamm‘s secretary on Mad Men, where her job is to make him coffee and make him not want to have sex with her. Heller once played a lesbian inSoap, which she talked about with New York Magazine:

This was back in ’81 or something like that. In those days, we got perms. So I had this long hair with this big perm. I showed up to work, and they said, “We’re gonna have to straighten your hair.” I said, “What’s the difference?” “Because we’re worried that you’re playing a lesbian, and you have this big hair. It’s just too out there; it’s too much.” Seriously. They were so afraid. They wanted to make her a very conservative type. Even though it was groundbreaking, they were so afraid. When my character went to kiss her girlfriend, they said, “Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh. No, you can’t do that.”

New York Magazine: Did you worry about any homophobia hurting your career?

Randee Heller: Yeah, I did. And then I stopped worrying and said, “Look, you’re an actress. You do a good job, and you should be recognized for the work you do.” I got a lot of nice e-mails … uh, letters. Lesbians were proud that they were finally represented on TV in a pretty good light — even though Alice was trying to commit suicide.

We don’t blame you, Randee. Back then, TV writers assumed lesbians were all just looking for the right man or thisclose to offing themselves. Some things never change.

And while we’re on the topic of Mad Men, lesbian Joyce is back in this preview for next week’s episode.

Are “lesbian hijinks” kind of like “lesbian weirdness” that Sookie spoke of on True Blood?

Come back for more fun stuff today.

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