Florry Frontwoman Francie Medosch is The New Queer, Trans Face of Punk

In the queer feminist punk underground, there are few labels with as much prestige as Sister Polygon. Formed by the members of the punk band Priests, the label has launched alternative music stars like queer indie artist Snail Mail and Downtown Boys.

Now the label has a new band to champion: Florry, a group led by 17-year-old queer and trans-identified frontwoman Francie Medosch, who’ve been playing bleeding-heart bedroom punk under various names for years. The band just cemented their status as one of the cool kids by putting out their debut full-length Brown Bunny November 23rd.

Medosch first broke onto the Bandcamp scene with past project Francie Cool, before cycling through members and changing the name to Florry, looking to put the focus on the music instead of herself. The mysterious fingerpicking guitarist we see onstage is a shy person offstage who gets really excited about her pets (three cats ― Simba, Robocop, and Bill ― as well as a potbellied pig, Bluto, and husky, Kaya). Her pets, alongside the inclusive punk underground scene Medosch found, have helped her move on from the harsh realities of being openly trans, including school bullies, mental health problems, and a suicide attempt in eighth grade.

Medosch embodies the “quiet genius” archetype often mythologized in rock. She takes a long time to answer questions, often falling back on platitudes. She relies on her instincts when it comes to her music, and is still working out how to explain it to people. Similarly, her songs really take flight during the instrumental breakdowns, where she and her bandmates can flex their chops.

Florry’s eight-song Brown Bunny is a showcase of Medosch’s inventive song structures and dark lyrics. Unlike many of their contemporaries who draw from the twee and Riot Grrrl movements, Florry pairs folk elements like slide guitar and violins with her voice, which brings to mind the squeaks of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth or Human People’s Hayley Livingston. Even when you can’t make out that Medosch is singing lines like “Whatever you what you want is what I get /  I’ll choke, I’ll choke” on songs like “Period,” her melancholy is palpable. Throughout the album, Medosch wrestles with her desire to have a simpler life free from abuse and the reality that she shouldn’t have to diminish what makes her different to do so.

We chatted on the phone about the struggle of being a queer high schooler, how punk is her realm to let loose, and her future plans for Florry.

INTO: You said you were working on Psychology notes earlier today. Are you still in high school?

Francie Medosch: Yeah I am a senior in high school.

Nice, so its an AP Psych situation?

Yeah, it’s AP Psych.

How is that going?

It’s good. I feel like its coincided very nicely. This year I’ve been trying to work on mental health a lot and trying to explore myself.

It’s hard exploring yourself in high school and you’ve already done so much. I didn’t come out until after high school was over. Is it hard existing in that context? Being in high school and discovering so much about yourself?

Yeah, it sometimes is. I think for the first three or four years I was pretty uncomfortable most of the time. But this year, senior year, I have felt strangely so comfortable with myself and projecting myself out there, being social and trying to let my ideas be known more. I used to be very shy, like purposefully shy. I would sometimes go days without saying a single word at all back in sophomore year. That was a really shitty year for me.

What was especially hard about sophomore year?

A lot of mental illness reasons. It was super hard to remain functioning every day. Also, I was doing so many shows that year, sophomore year. I was always fucking around playing shows or hanging out with friends. Junior year was the first year I was getting better, and I didn’t play any shows at all.

Going back a bit, earlier you said the first four years you were out was really hard. So did you come out in eighth grade? We’re you coming out both as gay and trans or was it one before the other?

I had always been open about being flexible with whom I’m attracted too. I don’t think anyone who knows me was surprised by that, except for a few people which felt really weird. For me, it’s always surprising when I discover anyone is homophobic. It’s such a weird thing to be mad about. I came out as trans sometime around the end of freshman year and the beginning of sophomore year.

Was your family okay with it?

Yeah, they were. I was hard at first, for the first year or so, just them getting used to all that stuff, but now it’s great. For the most part, I’ve always felt pretty nervous at family gatherings. Especially when I started dressing feminine, I would get more scared. I was able to feel so much more comfortable with being myself around other people.

Do you think that’s at all tied with how your music is going? Florry just got named a “Band to Watch” on Stereogum, which is a pretty buzzy title.

Honestly, I haven’t paired the two together at any point until just now. I’d say it was just a coincidence. It just happened that this album took a really long time to produce and make.

Did you always know it would be out on Sister Polygon or were there stretches of time where you thought you would just release it yourself?

We started recording in 2016. Halfway through the recording process, we played a show with Priests up at Bard [College] in September of 2017. I know they liked our set, and I loved Sister Polygon as well. I reached out to [Priests frontwoman] Katie [Greer] asking if she could listen to what we had so far of the record, and I also asked if Sister Polygon was accepting submissions. Katie said at the moment they weren’t, but she wanted to hear the album anyway, so I sent it over. The next thing she said from there was that they’d probably release it and asked what I’d want from the label and how it would all go down. We only officially figured that all out in June. I half assumed they’d release it, but there’s always the possibility it wouldn’t work out.

You’ve already got plans for another album, but you’re also a senior in high school. Do you plan on going to college?

Yeah, I plan on going to college, probably somewhere in New York or if not, then around Philly. Was that a good answer?

Sure! Do you plan on having your bandmates come with you to college or are you just going to mail songs back and forth and then tour? How do you anticipate being in college and being in a band going?

Well my drummer RL [Srinivasan] already lives in New York. Our bassist Peter [Gil] is fine with traveling when we need to. We don’t practice that often. In the past with Francie Cool, it was me in Philly and Abby [Jones) and RL and Theo [Woodward] all in New York so we’re used to having to travel to practice and stuff.

Let’s talk about the songs on Brown Bunny. What does the acronym KFG stand for?

Oh, Kung Fu Girl. [laughs]

There’s a lot of stuff in the song about empowerment.  You say “Maybe I should just go after it/maybe I will change my life.” It sounds like with those lyrics and the title “Kung Fu Girl” you’re building yourself up as this hero protagonist, like a Buffy character.

Yeah, I did that a lot on the older album of mine, assuming an identity that works better and is easier and then feeling insecure about lying to yourself. “Kung Fu Girl” is another one of those songs.

What kind of Identity would you assume?

Oh, just like being a stronger person ― pretending I don’t have all these problems.

In “Someone Please Ask Me Out,” you sing “He’s got the weight of the world on his big broad shoulders.”

Oh yeah, that’s my cat! I love him. I mention him a lot in older Francie Cool stuff as well.

The song seems like it’s very much about wanting to be “normal” so you could be asked out. Why did you mention your cat in the song but leave so it sounds like you could be describing a boy?

There’s a lot of hidden messages in my music. Looking at it now it makes me feel super straight or something. I rarely talk about women in music.

Liking women?

Well, actually, in the new album there’s some gay stuff.

So why bring up your cat?

Oh, I just love him and just playing little tributes to him.

At the end of “Someone Please Ask Me Out” you sing “I’m extra normal to you.” Does that mean you’re the most normal, or something more than normal?

I think that’s more me saying that is me wishing it was true.

That you were normal?

No, not that. I just use the word in my music sometimes because I like the simplicity of it. What I mean when I say that stuff is to live without being hated.

You play at a lot of DIY or illegal places. Do you ever get nervous that someone at a gig will be really homophobic or transphobic?

No. No, because I know everyone is pretty chill at places I play. I’ll get nervous on the street, though, or at school. Well, I don’t get nervous on the street actually, or I rarely do. The place I get the most nervous is at school. Being surrounded by upper-middle-class white kids is really stressful.

But the gigs are like safe spaces.

Yeah. I feel pretty loose at gigs or just outside school, in general. But shows are where I can really let loose.

Have shows always been like that?

I think so. I’ve never really had stage fright when it comes to performing music, which is interesting considering all the other anxieties I do have about stuff. For some reason, it always felt pretty comfortable and natural for me. I don’t think I’ve ever played a show where some douche was rude to people. Or maybe I just don’t notice it.

Do you have any goals with your music going forward?

I just hope I can inspire other younger people to get active in their field of interest. You don’t have to be done with high school or even college to do the shit you wanna do. Especially today you have so many opportunities to shape your whole life. I wish I could see other people doing that. You shouldn’t be scared of trying to live in a man’s world. I hope my music can help people if they’ve been through similar situations that I’ve been through. Some people have told me that my music has helped them which is a really great feeling, knowing that you can help someone with your art and also just with yourself.

Images via Facebook and Instagram

Sonic Fox, a Gay Black Furry, Is the Best E-Sports Player in the World And That’s That on That

Most queer gamers have a similar story about playing online video games: you log on and within moments, you’re accosted by some kind of homophobic, transphobic, racist or altogether really really discriminatory comment from some 12 year old across the country.

Well, to them you can always say nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah, because, it’s official: the best esports player in the world, according to the 2018 Game Awards, is Dominique “Sonic Fox” McLean, a Black gay man and furry. McLean won the award on Thursday night during the ceremony, which was shown online, and proudly declared to thunderous applause that he was, in fact, “super gay.”

Taking the stage in his furry costume before eventually removing his mask, McLean said, “I’ve never really done it for the fame, I just enjoy the rush of beating people up.”

“I want to give a super shoutout to all my LGBTQ+ friends that have always helped me through life,” McLean said. “I’m gay, black, a furry, pretty much everything a Republican hates.”

In August, after winning the Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament, and beating out 2,575 other people in the process, McLean tweeted out, “I’m gay.”

So remember, next time you hear some homophobia in Overwatch, just say: “The best esports player in the world is gay.”

Image via Getty

Grindr’s Head of Communications Resigns: ‘I Refused to Compromise My Own Values’

Grindr may not be available for comment.

On Friday afternoon, Landen Zumwalt, Grindr’s head of communications, quit his position in an open letter to Grindr’s employees on Medium, saying that he’d no longer “compromise my own values” to work at the company.

“As an out and proud gay man madly in love with a man I don’t deserve, I refused to compromise my own values or professional integrity to defend a statement that goes against everything I am and everything I believe,” Zumwalt wrote on Medium. “While that resulted in my time at Grindr being cut short, I have absolutely no regrets. And neither should you.”

He continued by saying it has been a “privilege” to come to work every day.

“I am — and will continue to be — immensely proud of the work we were allowed to do during my time at Grindr,” he said. “I will never forget the heart-tugging messages, emails and more that we received from the queer community as a result of our Kindr initiative. Nor will I forget being a witness firsthand to the amazing activism work Grindr for Equality is doing globally or working alongside the award-winning reporting team at INTO.”

Zumwalt’s departure follows a week after INTO first reported that Grindr’s president Scott Chen posted on his public Facebook page that he agrees with those who “believe that marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman.”

In a follow-up internal email, Chen said that the words he used “related to marriage between a man and a woman were meant to express my personal feelings about my own marriage to my wife – not to suggest that I am opposed to marriage equality.”

In a statement, Grindr said they “wish him the best in his future endeavors and appreciate his contributions to the company and the Grindr community.”

For Black Queers, Kevin Hart’s Insincere Apology Isn’t Surprising

Late Thursday night, three days after being named the host of the 2019 Academy Awards, Kevin Hart announced that he was stepping down from the position after initially declining to apologize for resurfaced homophobic tweets.

His response didn’t surprise me, and it likely didn’t surprise any Black LGBTQ person who has had a Netflix subscription in the past decade. We grew up in families and attended schools and likely work in places surrounded by black men who have the same opinions as Hart. And like Hart, they express their disapproval through “jokes” at the expense of LGBTQ people, sometimes more overt in their violence – like this tweet from 2011 saying that he’d break a dollhouse over his son’s head if he caught him playing with dolls.

Similar to a lot of cis-hetero black men, Hart first doubled down when confronted with his tweets. In response to the outcry, Hart posted a video on Instagram Thursday night, saying that the world was becoming “beyond crazy” and that he wasn’t going to let the “craziness” frustrate or anger him because he worked hard to be where he is in his life right now.

“My team calls me, ‘Oh, my God, Kevin, this world is upset about tweets you did years ago,’ Guys, I’m almost 40 years old. If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man,” Hart said. “I’m in a great place, a great mature place, where all I do is spread positivity.”

In a second video, he announced that he’s been asked by The Academy to “apologize for tweets of old” to keep his host position, but that he ultimately declined.

As expected, Black LGBTQ Twitter had a few things to say in response:

It’s not uncommon for cis-hetero black men to not apologize for their homophobia. Black male comedians have long been homophobic and have always had other black comedians come to defend their bigotry.

There are also places in black culture that breed the resentment: particularly the barbershop, which is historically a place where black men have congregated and have had spirited debates about everything. It’s considered a cultural rite of passage for young black boys to be brought there for their first haircuts and to be around older role models who look like them and can give them wisdom.

It’s also where homophobic conversations are so prevalent that the rhetoric is normalized and passed down to younger black boys for them to continue the cycle.

So this isn’t just Hart, unfortunately. This has roots. And I’m a lesbian who has kept a clean, shaved head for the past four years, so I’m regularly in the barber’s chair listening in on these conversations.

I listen in at family events when my male cousins talk about who does (and doesn’t) get into their fraternity. I listen at work when a casually homophobic comment is made about anything pop-culture related. I see when local Twitter accounts (and more) become nostalgic for the Twitter era of 2009-2012 when anti-gay bigotry was expressed freely and without consequence. When – if ever – anything is questioned or said to be homophobic, it’s shrugged off. They were just “jokes,” and cis-hetero black men like Hart would rather lose the job opportunity of a lifetime than express regret for their homophobia.

Unfortunately, black people supported comedy specials that used gay people as the punchline, including the acts of Eddie Murphy, Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence, and more of the Kings of Comedy; Hart was likely influenced by them and incorporated their style into his act. Maybe he believed it, and maybe he was simply being performative, but the effect is still the same.

I don’t know if Hart has had a change in perspective during all of this. His career exploded into the mainstream after the original tweets and with that fame came increased scrutiny of his past. I’m sure he’s learned how easy it is for people to dig up his unsavory actions, but besides that, his constant emphasis that the tweets are so old that they shouldn’t matter anymore makes it difficult to believe that he’s anything but obstinate.

In all of this, of course, Hart and his fans find him to be the victim and the people who demand respect and a sincere apology for his past comments about LGBTQ people are “internet trolls.”

None of what’s been going on with Hart regarding his actions or lack of accountability has been surprising to black queers. Another day, another deflection and dismissal of the lived experiences of the LGBTQ community.

Image via Getty

LGBTQ Women Are More Nominated Than Ever At This Year’s Grammys

The 61st annual Grammy Award nominees were announced today, and several trans and queer-identified women are up for awards in categories ranging from Album of the Year to Best Music Video to Producer of the Year. In most categories, they are the only women against a handful of cis and largely straight men. 

Openly gay Americana artist Brandi Carlile finally gets her due this year with six nominations for work from her album, By The Way, I Forgive You. Carlile’s sixth studio LP is up for Album of the Year and Best Americana Album, and her single “The Joke” is up for Record of the Year, Best American Roots Performance, and Best American Roots song. Although she’s been nominated before (2016’s Best Grammy Award for Best Americana Album, for her fifth LP, The Firewatcher’s Daughter), this could be her year for at least one win. It likely doesn’t hurt that she appeared in a fictional Grammy performance depicted in A Star is Born, alongside Bradley Cooper.

Speaking of A Star is Born, bisexual pop star Lady Gaga is up for Best Pop Solo Performance (“Joanne”), Record and Song of the Year and Best Song Written For Visual Media for “Shallow.”

Pansexual R&B-turned-pop star Janelle Monae’s visual accompaniment to her vaginal ode “Pynk” is nominated for Best Music Video, and her album, Dirty Computer, is up against not only Carlile, but multiple nominee Cardi B for Album of the Year. Monae has also been nominated previously (Best Album, Record, Pop/Duo Group Performance, Contemporary R&B Album, and Urban/Alternative Performance from 2009-2013), but has yet to nab a win.

Speaking of Cardi, the bisexual sensation also went home empty-handed after two nominations last year (Rap Song and Rap Performance for “Bodak Yellow”), but could win for Album and Record of the Year (Invasion of Privacy and “I Like It,” respectively), Best Rap Performance (also “I Like It”), and  Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Maroon 5 for “Girl Like You.” 

Trans songwriter/producer Teddy Geiger’s “In My Blood” is up for Song of the Year (along with co-songwriter and performer Shawn Mendes) and trans artist SOPHIE is nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album (Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides), both their first nominations.

In Best Folk Album, longtime lesbian singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier is nominated for Rifles & Rosary Beads, and soul legend Meshell Ndegeocello’s Ventriloquism could win Best Urban Contemporary Album. Whitney Houston is being honored posthumously for music from the film Whitney (Best Music Film), St. Vincent is up for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Song (for Masseduction and title track, respectively), Linda Perry is competing for Producer of the Near, Non-Classical for her work on Willa Amai’s Hardest Better Faster Stronger, Served Like a Girl: Music From and Inspired By The Documentary Film, and Dorothy’s 28 Days in the Family, and out songwriter Tiffany Gouche wrote several tracks for Lalah Hathaway’s Best R&B Album-nominated Honestly and Hathaway’s Best R&B Performance song “Y O Y.” Demi Lovato also got a nod for “Fall In Line,” her track with Christina Aguilera (Best Pop Duo/Group Performance).

This is already a record year for LGBTQ women visibility at the Grammys, but should these nominees also win, it would be an incredibly strong showing in all areas of music recording and production. As the music industry continues to reconcile with LGBTQ inclusion and gender parity, 2019’s Grammys are an opportunity to celebrate just how powerful LGBTQ musicians and women are, and how valuable their experiences are as a part of their voice and their art.

The 2019 Grammys will air live on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.

Images via Getty

A Statement Regarding Our Ariana Grande Coverage – UPDATED

December 7, 2018: A number of concerning allegations related to one of our freelance writers has come to our attention. As an organization that listens to and champions the rights of the LGBTQ community, INTO has decided to discontinue our relationship with this person. All content written by this individual has been removed from our website.

Yesterday, an article was published on INTO that did not meet the editorial guidelines we created. And there are a few things I need to say…

First off:

While I could go into the HOW/WHY of why the piece missed the mark and should not have been published as is, what I am going to focus on is this: We as editors failed the writer by not working with her to ensure the piece met our standards.

And for that I am personally sorry.

After publishing, the writer immediately faced numerous death threats. No one deserves to be threatened with violence let alone face it for writing an essay on a piece of ~culture~ …good or bad. Ever. As a result, we dropped her byline and put a note up.

We were then made aware of concerning allegations made in the past regarding the writer. Given the seriousness of these allegations, I personally spoke with the writer and immediately launched an internal investigation. INTO was not aware of these until Monday after publishing. And the writer will not be contributing to INTO for the time being. 

Moving forward, I am working with the entire INTO team to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. I will be making some internal editorial changes that will be announced soon.

Today, we will be publishing content directly calling out the missteps in the piece and expanding the conversation. We also have a special guest for a video that was already filmed for Ariana, too.

We at INTO really try our hardest every day to tell stories and have conversations with LGBTQ people that benefit the community, whether it’s on pop culture moments or reporting on LGBTQ asylum-seekers and immigration.

And we can only keep doing this if we hold ourselves accountable.

Zach Stafford

Editor-in-Chief, INTO

Hate Crime Forces Gay Couple to Leave Las Vegas Home

Charles Clements and Vincent Shaver can’t go home. They can’t make rent, and even if they could, they don’t want to stay.

“Every time we opened the door and heard steps, I would get scared,” Clements told INTO. “So we had to leave immediately.”

Last Thursday, Clements and Shaver said they were victims of a brutal anti-gay hate crime at their Las Vegas apartment. The incident has left them staying with Shaver’s uncle, trying to raise enough money to move.

Shaver said the trouble started at his job at Walmart when a coworker and his friend started targeting him for being gay.

“They told me I was an abomination and a faggot,” said Shaver.

Shaver said he reported the harassment to supervisors and thought that would be the end of the problem.

But on Thursday when Clements picked him up from work, the two followed them home.

“I guess he waited in the parking lot for three hours,” Shaver said. “I didn’t think he was going to take it to the extreme and follow us home and try to hurt us.”

Clements said he didn’t even realize they had been followed until they were home and he heard Shaver call out his name from the front of the house. Two guys were hitting Shaver. When Clements moved to intervene, the two started to attack him, he said.

They knocked over a table, shattering glass, which the attackers then used as a knife.

“I was leaking blood and that’s when they went over to my boyfriend and started kicking him and stabbing him,” said Clements.

When the attackers saw the blood they fled, said Clements. The attack lasted about 10 minutes, he said.

The couple said neighbors watched the attack but didn’t intervene or call police. One neighbor shut the door in the middle of the beating. Shaver had to call 911 himself.

Both were hospitalized Thursday night. Shaver suffered a punctured lung, seven stab wounds in the back and two broken ribs. Clements had to have stitches for a cut to his head. The two are home and recovering. Shaver has taken a temporary leave from Walmart, but Clements said he will return to his job at a local nursing home.

The couple said they don’t have health insurance, and costly medical bills have forced them to vacate their apartment. They have launched a GoFundMe, asking for help with moving to “a different area where they have security 24/7 and a gated area.”

“When I met Vincent is when I wanted to be out and proud of myself,” said Clements, who notes they have been together a year-and-a-half.

“We were living comfortably, and now this tragedy has cost us our place,” added Shaver.

Walmart is working with Las Vegas law enforcement to investigate the incident, which they categorized as workplace violence, the company confirmed. A spokesperson would not provide details on the ongoing investigation.

Las Vegas Police Department did not respond to requests to comment by press time.

Image via YouTube

Milo Yiannopoulos Banned From Crowdfunding Site Within 24 Hours, Still $2 Million in Debt

Milo Yiannopoulos’ self-described comeback was cut short this week when Patreon pulled the plug on his crowdfunding campaign within 24 hours.

Yiannopoulos had hoped to fundraise his way back to financial solvency following a report from The Guardian that showed the disgraced gay alt-right darling is more than $2 million in debt. A Patreon page set up by the former Breitbart editor on Dec. 4 promised that supporters could join “Milo’s Big Gay Army” in exchange for just $2.50 a month.

In return for donating more money, followers would be designated as a “Cheerleader,” or “Sassy Bitch,” while others could be a part of his “Trigger Squad.”

But for a monthly contribution of $750, individuals in the “elite tier” would be gifted a personal thank-you letter handwritten by Yiannopoulos and a coffee mug. In addition, he promised top-level donors “exclusive invitations to drinks when Milo is in your city (you’re buying).”

If begging for free cocktails from strangers weren’t humbling enough, the 34-year-old penned a woeful plea for assistance following a “miserable year or two.”

“After two years of relentless, dishonest attacks on me by the press, I got roughed up and lost my way,” Yiannopoulos claimed. “I’ve never asked for money like this before. But I need you to help me get back to work.”

The enfant terrible claimed the fundraising effort would be used to “support my family, pay essential staff and service providers.”

Yiannopoulos also said he was planning to create his own TV show.

Patreon, however, quickly disabled the controversial figure’s crowdfunding page after claiming that it violated the platform’s community guidelines. In a Dec. 5 tweet, the company claimed his campaign “was removed from Patreon as we don’t allow association with or supporting hate groups on Patreon.”

The website cited Yiannopoulos’ “past association” with the Proud Boys as a breach of its policies, although it noted he recently cut ties with the white supremacist group.

Patreon’s guidelines forbid “serious attacks, or even negative generalizations, of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical conditions.”

At the time his page was removed, a reported 250 patrons pledged to donate to Yiannopoulos on a monthly basis.

Yiannopoulos attempted to make light of the situation on his Facebook page by posting a screenshot of an email from Patreon notifying him that he would no longer be permitted to raise money on the site. “Back to square one, I guess!” he said, with a faux-upbeat attitude.

His current predicament, though, is allegedly quite dire.

According to the aforementioned Guardian report, Yiannopoulos owes more than $1.6 million to his own media enterprise, Milo, Inc. The company was his last failed comeback attempt after his termination from Breitbart over comments defending clerical abuse in the Catholic church.

Yiannopoulos is also allegedly $400,000 in debt to Breitbart’s backers, the billionaire Mercer family. He also owes $153,000 in legal fees, $52,000 to Four Seasons, and $20,000 to Cartier.

The far-right personality attempted to discredit the Guardian’s reporting by saying he is bringing in $40,000 a month.

Image via Getty

Hayley Kiyoko Brings Taylor Swift On Stage at LGBTQ Benefit Show

Last night, Lesbian Jesus brought Jesus on stage in New York City.

On Wednesday night, the fifth annual Ally Coalition Talent Show swept through the Town Hall stage in New York City, featuring big names like Kiyoko, Bleachers, and Lana Del Rey. The “Curious” singer had one giant trick up her sleeve, and fans were shocked when the pop star brought Taylor Swift out to join her on stage.

Kiyoko introduced the award-winning singer-songwriter as a “rising artist that just signed to Universal,” half of which is true. Earlier this year, Swift brought Hayley out on stage during a stop on the Reputation Stadium Tour to perform Kiyoko’s “Curious.” Returning the favor, the two women performed a stripped-down version of Swift’s song “Delicate,” with Taylor on the acoustic guitar.

The pop singers have both been strong advocates of each other’s work since March of this year when Kiyoko pointed out the industry’s homophobic bias. She told Refinery29, “I’ve had several music industry execs say ‘You’re doing another music video about girls?’ I was like, um, yea…Taylor Swift sings about men in every single song and video, and no one complains.”

Swift responded to Hayley’s comment on Tumblr, applauding the lesbian singer for her bravery in speaking out about her experiences. She wrote, “We should applaud artists who are brave enough to tell their honest romantic narrative through their art, and the fact is that I’ve never encountered homophobia and she has. It’s her right to call out anyone who has double standards about gay vs straight love interests.”

Both women have had an extraordinary year. Kiyoko released her debut album Expectations, full of queer bops and bangers. Swift recently signed a new record deal with UMG, signing on for five more albums. She also spoke out before the 2018 midterm elections, voicing her support for Tennessee’s Democratic candidates, and once more standing up for the LGBTQ community.

The Ally Coalition advocates for LGBTQ equality through tours and special events, with proceeds benefitting local LGBTQ organizations.

Everything Queer That’s Nominated for the Golden Globes

The 2019 Golden Globe nominations were revealed today and, as usual, Twitter was abuzz with talk of snubs and surprises. Luckily, numerous queer films and television shows received multiple nods.

The Golden Globes are usually a half-decent indicator of what movies will pick up Oscar nominations (which will be revealed January 22nd). So, if the 2019 Golden Globes are any indicator of what’s to come at the 91st Academy Awards (and then next year’s Emmys), it looks like awards season is about to get much gayer.

Two LGBTQ-centric shows will compete for both Best Television Series – Drama and Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – a rare occurrence. Lady Gaga, an out bisexual, Ben Whishaw, a gay man, and Lucas Hedges, who identifies as sexually fluid, were all nominated. In the future, it’d be incredible to see more out members of the LGBTQ community recognized, too.

Here are the nominations we have our eyes on:


Adam McKay’s Vice, the Dick Cheney biopic, accrued six nominations, the most of any film, TV show, or limited series. The movie stars Alison Pill as Mary Cheney, Dick’s (Bale) lesbian daughter, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Christian Bale), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amy Adams) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Sam Rockwell). Adam McKay picked up two nods for Best Director and Best Screenplay.

The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, a biting period drama about a lesbian love triangle between Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), her advisor (Rachel Weisz), and her maid (Emma Stone), earned three nods. Penned by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, the movie recently won a record 10 trophies at the British International Film Awards. At the Golden Globes, it was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Screenplay (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara). Olivia Colman was also nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and both Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone will be pitted against each other in competition for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, fittingly.

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Freddie Mercury biopic, which has received mixed reviews from queer critics, was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and Rami Malek received a nod for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. The movie has been criticized for its gay erasure, as Mercury’s sexuality is barely touched upon outside of his tragic death from AIDS. Regardless, an LGBTQ movie being recognized for excellence in filmmaking is definitely a positive.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The queer Melissa McCarthy starrer Can You Ever Forgive Me? was nominated twice. McCarthy picked up a nod for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Richard E. Grant was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The movie follows the life of Lee Israel, an out lesbian biography writer who became infamous for forging over 400 letters by public figures and selling them for cash. There aren’t many award-winning films with lesbian protagonists, save Patty Jenkins’ Monster (2003), The Kids Are All Right (2011), The Hours (2002), and The Color Purple (1985). Carol (2015) was nominated numerous times at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards, but was snubbed in every category.

Boy Erased

Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased, adapted from Garrard Conley’s memoir about a teenager who undergoes gay conversion therapy, picked up two nominations. Lucas Hedges was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Troye Sivan’s “Revelation” was nominated for Best Original Song – Motion Picture.


Charlize Theron earned a nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in Tully. The dark comedy was the latest collaboration from the Juno writer and director duo Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, and followed a queer titular character (with a twist).

Crazy Rich Asians

Though this movie is barely queer, it does star Nico Santos as a gay man. The romantic comedy, which was monumental for Asian-American representation in film, was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical Comedy. Constance Wu also picked up a nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Killing Eve

The super queer, super twisted BBC drama was nominated for Best Television Series – Drama. Sandra Oh, who was hailed online as a fan favorite, earned a nod for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. Created by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve stars Oh as the title character, an MI6 agent who becomes obsessed with tracking a female assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer, who was snubbed).


Ryan Murphy’s trailblazing queer-centric FX show, set in the world of ’80s ball culture, was nominated for Best Television Series – Drama. Billy Porter earned a nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama. The show has broken boundaries for its representation of transgender people of color, both on and off-screen.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Amazon’s award-winning comedy darling picked up a nomination for Best Television Series  – Musical or Comedy. Rachel Brosnahan earned a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for the second year in a row, of which she won in 2018. Alex Borstein, who plays a lesbian club owner, also was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, her first Golden Globe nomination.

Will & Grace

Debra Messing picked up a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for her role in Will & Grace, a reboot of the once-groundbreaking gay NBC sitcom.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Another queer Ryan Murphy venture, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, earned four nominations: Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Darren Criss), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Penelope Cruz), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television (Edgar Ramirez).

A Very English Scandal

Hugh Grant picked up a nomination for his role in Amazon’s A Very English Scandal. The series follows the real life and trials of Jeremy Thorpe (Grant), a Parliament member who was accused of conspiring to murder his ex-lover in the ’70s. Ben Whishaw, who plays Thorpe’s lover, also earned a nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The show was also nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

A Star is Born

Many critics are projecting that Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut will be among the most highly nominated films at the Oscars next year. A Star is Born picked up a whopping five nominations at the Golden Globes. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director (Bradley Cooper), and Best Original Song – Motion Picture (“Shallow”). Lady Gaga also received a nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Cooper received one for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.  While the film’s major storyline isn’t necessarily queer, the film features Shangela and Willam in a drag bar and also features a gay male character.

Green Book

The Peter Farrelly-directed Green Book also earned five nominations. Mahershala Ali stars as “Doc” Don Shirley, a jazz pianist in the 1960s. His character has a tryst with another man. He is nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Viggo Mortenson was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The film also received nods for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Director (Peter Farrelly) and Best Screenplay (Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, and Brian Currie).


Netflix’s foreign language film follows a 15-year-old trans girl with dreams of becoming a ballerina. The drama was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, but has been criticized heavily by the LGBTQ community for its poor representation of transgender people. The lead is played by a cis actor, and both writers of the film are cis too. GLAAD called it a “dangerous, traumatizing, small-minded, and one-dimensional representation of the trans experience.”


Out lesbian songwriter Linda Perry was nominated alongside Dolly Parton for their original song “Girl in the Movies.” The song is featured in the new Netflix movie Dumplin’, and was nominated for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. Perry penned the music and lyrics.

The 2019 Golden Globes ceremony will air January 6, 2019 on NBC and will be co-hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.