Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (December 10, 2010): Rachel Maddow takes on hate in Uganda, Wanda Sykes heads to “Rio”


Cat Cora. The out Iron Chef star began shooting her show for Oprah Winfrey’s new network (OWN) this week. All we know so far is that the show will premiere in January and in it Cora “will travel the country, offering nutritional, cooking, and healthy living advice to families in need of a lifestyle overhaul.” We feel confident that Cora’s cuisine will continue to reign supreme.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Two couples, one gay and one lesbian, became the first same-sex couples to get married aboard an airplane this week thanks to SAS’s Love is in the Air campaign. Nice to know that the skies just got a little friendlier.

Wanda Sykes. The out comic/actress will be lending her voice to the new animated film, Rio, about “a nerdy macaw who leaves the comforts of his cage in small town Minnesota and heads to Rio de Janeiro.” Also voicing a character in the film will be Jane Lynch. Someone must have been running a two-for-one special on funny lesbians.

Fernanda Rocha. Originally described in promotional materials as “bisexual,” the newest cast member of The Real Housewives of Orange County has told The National Enquirer that she is actually gay. She also told the rag that it’s her “dream” to pose for Playboy magazine.

Martina Navratilova. The legendary tennis star is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for disadvantaged youth. Navratilova, who just wrapped treatment for breast cancer, says that her appreciation for life has been “enhanced” and that she’s looking forward to taking on the daunting task of scaling the 19,341 mountain and hopes to double her original goal of original goal of 100,000 Euros for Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Game, set, match Navartilova!

Lady Gaga. Billboard has declared the out bisexual singer to be its “2010 Artist of the Year.” CNN’s Showbiz Tonight has named her the “Most Provocative Icon of 2010,” beating out Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus. That’s a good thing, right?

Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jackson captivated an audience outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse in San Francisco this week with a passionate speech in favor of marriage equality. He said, “We cannot not sit idly by while Prop 8 seeks to target gays and lesbians for a disfavored legal status, as America’s newest second-class citizens.”

Texas lawmakers. reports that “at least seven bills relating to bullying in schools and online have already been filed for consideration in the legislature next session, which opens on January 1. Two of those bills would require schools to report annually on its incidents of bullying, making note of which were based on race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.”

Equal health benefits. Facebook is joining Cisco, Kimpton Hotels, the Gates Foundation and other companies that reimburse gay workers who are taxed on the value of their domestic partner health insurance benefits. We this.

Rachel Maddow. Wednesday night on The Rachel Maddow Show, the host took on Ugandan parliament member, David Bahati, author of a bill (still pending in parliament) calling for the execution of gay people. She told him, “You are promoting life imprisonment for all gay people in your country, and your country has a lot of gay people who do not want to be subject to life imprisonment. And I think the international community is trying to decide whether Uganda is going to become an international pariah, a rogue state excluded from the community of nations, because you are singling out a minority among your population for treatment that frankly is not the direction that the rest of the world is going.” Miraculously, she did not then punch him in the face.

Time Magazine. The news magazine devoted an entire cover story to the topic of marital bliss (“Who Needs Marriage?”) without addressing same-sex marriage. writes, “Same-sex marriage is clearly not the only marriage-related issue currently facing the country, and I can even understand the author of a piece such as this acknowledging the huge amount of oxygen being sucked up by the heated debate over GLBT marriage and specifically setting the issue aside for the purposes of this particular article. But to ignore the issue entirely? That just seems weird. And, frankly, it seems like bad journalism.”

Conservative comic book bios. reports that Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh are getting comic books. Paging Batwoman!

Portia DeGeneres. The out actress has turned down an invitation to appear on the ABC dance competition Dancing with the Stars. quotes an “insider” as saying, “She was the only star that could have pulled this off without completely offending the program’s conservative viewers. … producers have decided to wait a few years and not rush into creating a same-sex dancing couple just to get attention and publicity.” Sigh. Back to one!

Jillian Michaels. Michaels tweeted this week, “Season 11 of Biggest Loser will be my last 🙂 have to finish out my contract.” She added, “I want to take a year off TV and focus on becoming a mommy and doing more charity work.” E!Online reports, “As for The Biggest Loser, Michaels said her replacement is already on board and that she will help break her in when season 11— the show’s fourth couples edition — kicks off next month.” Happy for her, bummed for us. We’ll miss her!

Chris Colfer/Glee. In our interview with the out Glee star, we asked him to weigh in on the Brittana relationship. He told us that the Brittany/Santana relationship provides “comic relief” by turning gender stereotypes inside out (girls can be promiscuous?!) while the Blaine/Kurt relationship is “there for the uplifting, inspirational message.” Unfortunately, from the looks of the article comments/Tweets we read in response, Brittana fans do not appear to be laughing.

Tom Brokaw. The former NBC news anchor told The Advocate that he’s all for giving anti-gay hate groups airtime on news networks because it’s a good way to “generate the kind of outrage that prompts nationwide conversations.” Yes, but we think there are probably better ways.

Paranoid (or visionary!) reporters. Out Houston Mayor Annise Parker walked out of a press conference when some of the attending reporters asked her if she and the city council were trying to create a “majority gay council district.” Ridiculous! Awesome idea, but still, ridiculous!

Art City Elementary. Some parents and administrators at the Utah elementary school are upset because Leonard Ridley, who lives adjacent to the school, has posted signs stating, “Tell the truth, gays are born gay. Stop gay suicide” on his front lawn. The school district is “concerned” because of the “adult content” of the signs. Joe.My.God reports that the city “has declared that the size of the signs exceed zoning codes and Ridley has agreed to post only one sign at a time.” We think any homophobic language those kids are probably already hearing at school is far more “adult” in its content than what’s written on Ridley’s signs.

Belmont University. Lisa Howe, the University’s women’s soccer coach, resigned last week and soccer team members say that Howe told them privately that she was pressured into leaving after telling school administrators that she and her same-sex partner were going to have a baby. One of the Nashville university’s major benefactors has called for Howe to be rehired, and Belmont students are protesting on campus. Interesting (and ironic) factoid: the founders of Belmont College were Ida E. Hood and Susan L. Heron, whom many historians believe were lesbians.

The U.S. Senate. The National Defense Authorization Act, including repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was defeated, 57- 40 in the senate this week. President Obama tweeted that he was “disappointed.” Sen. Joe Lieberman tweeted that he and Senator Susan Collins and would introduce a free standing bill to repeal #DADT. Fingers crossed. Again.

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