Here Are The Gayest Looks of the 2019 Golden Globes

SuitWatch 2019 kicked off Sunday night at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards. Our favorite film and TV actresses tore through the red carpet like a Category 5 hurricane, and while the floor-length gowns and designer dresses were certainly something to be ogled, I personally had my eye on the gayer fashions.

Last year’s Golden Globes carpet was defined by the “blackout” Time’s Up protest, and I was hoping this year’s would be marked by menswear, given the memorable 2018 trend (see: Ocean’s 8 press tour, the Cannes red carpet, everything Blake Lively wore in A Simple Favor). But I have to be honest, the pre-show was basically as heterosexual as a Reddit forum for adult Disney fans. Although there wasn’t much to work with, here are the best queer girl looks from the 2019 Golden Globes.

Janelle Monae

I’m not sure what the fuck is going on here, but I adore it. The out queer Janelle sported a golden headpiece and a gilded dress that’s basically the formal wear equivalent of a gay girl wearing a Billabong t-shirt over a long-sleeved tee. She’s serving belted, layered pansexual glory and I want her to step on me.

Elsie Fisher

Fifteen-year old Elsie Fisher, the Eighth Grade star nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, wore an adorable red velvet collared pantsuit to kick off her first ever awards season. It’s the perfect outfit for walking up to an old dude and saying, “Move, my suit is velvet.”

Lena Waithe

Presenter Lena Waithe was somehow the second best dressed bleach-blonde lesbian in a jet-black suit, right after Chris Messina, who stunned straight women, gay men, and even lesbians with his dirtbag-yellow locks. But Lena Waithe looked dapper as ever in a black turtleneck, gold necklace, and mean mug that screams, “Be gayer.”

Glenn Close

Nominated for her role in The Wife, Glenn Close wore a fucking velvet cape. I think at a certain point, when you’re of age and you’ve been in enough award-winning movies, you just sort of say “Fuck it, I’m wearing a cape” and go to the Golden Globes looking like Professor McGonagall’s twin lesbian Auror. It’s a power move. This is the best red carpet cape since Lena Waithe’s rainbow flag piece at the Met Gala. Next year, we’re surpassing capes and going straight for robes. Gilded robes 2020.

Rosamund Pike

Sure, I’m the Chairwoman of SuitWatch 2019, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate other queer getups. For example, Rosamund Pike, nominated for her role in A Private War, wore a jacket that says “I robbed Michael Jackson’s grave for this,” and a thick choker that’s perfect for walking into a gay bar and waiting for a lesbian to say “I think I’ve seen you on Hinge.” Great work, Rosamund. Great gay work.

Linda Perry

Linda Perry, the queer 4 Non-Blondes songwriter—nominated for Best Original Song in Dumplin’—sported a shimmering metallic suit accompanied by that fucking top hat, which is, at this point, basically an appendage of hers rather than an accessory. The hat seems to grow taller and taller with each appearance—it began as your average Silver Lake Lesbian Hat, then over the years competed with Pharrell for Most Longitudinal Hat, and today, it can be scaled by any of the Spider People in the Spider-verse.

Julia Roberts

The first photograph I saw of Julia Roberts at the Golden Globes was from the waist up, and I thought, “snore.” The next one was a full-length shot and I hurled myself face-first through a plate glass window. The actress, nominated for her role in Amazon’s Homecoming, wore a mashup of black tapered trousers with a tan dress, which was the most ambitious crossover outfit in history. Roberts has worn numerous power-suits on red carpets past, so I’m elated that she stuck to her roots. Pierce my cartilage with your stilettos, queen.

Judy Greer

Styled by Karla Welch, Judy Greer stormed the red carpet in an Alberta Ferretti suit and goddamn oversized bowtie, winning the Gay Girl Golden Globe Fashion Awards by a landslide. Her flare pants are perfect for openly vaping in a movie theater while straight people glare at you even though you’re just doing this for your people, who’ve been previously oppressed for centuries, and didn’t have the same opportunities as you do now, like being able to vape in a movie theater. Greer’s can simply be called “Lesbian Cater Waiter Who Fucked Your Bridesmaid and Ruined the Whole Wedding.”

And a special shoutout to the queer male looks of the Golden Globes red carpet, like twink icon Timothée Chalamet, who sported a literal metallic harness, and Billy Porter of Pose, who scalped Glenn Close with his bedazzled, reversible cape.

Images via Getty

Was #20GAYTEEN a Victory For Queer Representation?

When Hayley Kiyoko nicknamed this year “#20GAYTEEN” last New Year’s Eve, she truly captured a mood. Social media hashtags can be as temporary as the trends they represent, but nearly 12 months later, #20GAYTEEN is definitely still a thing – Kiyoko even has it in her Twitter bio. At the same time, #20GAYTEEN has been embraced by the media as a snappy way of aggregating the new generation of LGBTQ artists putting out great music this year. Kiyoko, Janelle Monáe, Troye Sivan, MNEK, SOPHIE, Christine and the Queens, Anne-Marie, Years & Years, and Brockhampton are among the queer or queer-fronted acts to have released acclaimed albums in 2018.

But when I interviewed Years & Years’ Olly Alexander for UK music magazine NME in late-November, the frontman said he had somewhat mixed feelings about #20GAYTEEN. “Part of me is really thrilled and wants to shout #20GAYTEEN from the rooftops,” he explained. “There’s a lot behind it, because it feels like there’s quite a groundbreaking wave of new queer artists enjoying more success now.”

“But at the same time,” Alexander continued, “something that gains traction on the internet doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s happening in real life. In that sense I think there’s been a bit of disparity between #20GAYTEEN being a moment online and… you know, I still want to see more queer artists starring in their own big-budget music videos, selling loads of albums, making it into the charts. Not every artist wants those things, of course, but I think mainstream music is still pretty heterosexual despite there being so many queer artists out there making amazing music.”

Certainly, social media excitement around #20GAYTEEN hasn’t always translated to the sort of sales figures many of us feel these artists deserve. Monáe is enough of a live draw to be headlining a 12,500-capacity venue in London next summer, but her only mainstream hit remains “We Are Young,” a 2011 collaboration with rock band fun. “Make Me Feel,” the incendiary lead single from this year’s Dirty Computer album, stalled at #99 on the Billboard Hot 100. Just one track from Sivan’s Bloom album, “My My My!”, has cracked the Hot 100, peaking at #80. And in a string of tweets that he later deleted, MNEK admitted he was disappointed by the performance of debut album Language in his native UK. “It hurts but it’s the truth of my career and being black and gay in this game,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, general enthusiasm for everything #20GAYTEEN also produced a conspicuous mis-step in the form of Rita Ora’s would-be bisexual bop “Girls,” whose chorus hook goes: “Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls.” Soon after it dropped in May, Ora’s song (which features Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha, and Cardi B) was denounced by several prominent queer female artists. “A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women,” Kiyoko wrote on Twitter. Kehlani said “Girls” has “many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments.” DJ-producer Kittens tweeted: “This song is literally about wanting to hehe kiss girls when you’re drinking and smoking weed. That’s all we got. It’s harmful when LGBT women are fetishized and no relationships are ever taken seriously.”

Ora was so shaken by the blowback that she quickly apologized and essentially came out at the same time. “[The song] was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life. I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey,” she wrote on Twitter. “I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm to other LBGTQ+ people or anyone.” Perhaps well-intentioned but definitely tone-deaf, “Girls” showed us that #20GAYTEEN was an ongoing process, not a flawless victory lap. The same can arguably be said of unsavory speculation around Shawn Mendes’s sexuality: when there are so many queer artists to celebrate, why are portions of the community trying to out one who’s repeatedly told us he’s straight?

But at the same time, it’s arguable that pop culture has never looked more queer – check out actor-singer Ezra Miller’s gender norm-eschewing shoot for Playboy magazine. Equally, there’s no denying that artists generally mentioned under the #20GAYTEEN umbrella are telling stories we’ve rarely (or sometimes never) heard in pop songs before. Sivan’s cleverly suggestive “Bloom” is widely presumed to be about bottoming. Monáe’s “Pynk” is a glorious celebration of queer female sexuality whose video features an array of vagina-centric imagery. Kiyoko’s “He’ll Never Love You” has the artist hailed by fans as “Lesbian Jesus” telling a girl who can’t decide between her and a guy: “He’ll never love you like me.” For young, queer pop fans, it’s a super-exciting time.

So, disappointing sales figures for some LGBTQ artists notwithstanding, our enthusiasm for #20GAYTEEN shouldn’t be dampened. Queer artists have made so much authentically queer music this year that when a wannabe queer song struck a false note, its chart momentum was halted by the furor: in the UK, Rita Ora’s biggest market, “Girls” never climbed higher than its opening chart position of #22.

And earlier this month, Kiyoko told Billboard that one of her 2018 highlights has been “seeing different artists stand up for LGBTQ [rights].” She also said that “#20GAYTEEN never ends. It’s the spirit within.” Perhaps that’s the main takeaway from the mood she captured at the start of the year – that everything achieved by queer artists this year could have a potentially huge snowball effect. The more queer artists share their authentically queer stories, the more other queer folks, from all walks of life, will be inspired to do the same.

We Need to Talk About The Lesbian Looks of 2018

In 2018, I discovered that I’m extremely single-minded. I only have one interest, and that’s Lesbian Outfits.

When I was young, I had hobbies—like soccer, or playing the guitar, or having cyber-sex with strangers in AOL chatrooms. But no one, not even me, could’ve portended the person I’d become in my late twenties—a super-lesbian with tunnel vision on actresses over 30 wearing tailored suits. #20GayTeen did a number on me, as I somehow emerged gayer than I was last December, and that’s all thanks to the trenches of lesbian Twitter, which is sort of like Santa’s workshop, except trade the elves for a bunch of queer women hunched over their devices, furiously posting stolen paparazzi photos of Cate Blanchett.

I’ve witnessed some incredible ‘fits this year, many of which I’ve written about in pedantic detail. So, to honor the gayest year in modern history, I’d like to recount my favorite Lesbian Outfits of 2018.

Lena Waithe’s “Homophobia is Over Now” Met Gala Cape

Lena Waithe showed up to the Met Gala guns-a-blazin’ this year, sporting a dapper tux draped with a rainbow flag cape. She marched right into Anna Wintour’s lair and said, “Your bob is homophobic.” Every innocent heterosexual pedestrian had to shield their eyes from the glare of her lesbian pride. Somewhere in a dark cave under Los Angeles, Mel Gibson choked on his spam sandwich. A cab blasting Creed drove by and exploded, colliding with Lena’s homophobia force field. Rihanna walked by and said “Sorry,” and meant it.

Gillian Anderson’s Fashion Line Which is Just a Lesbian Advent Calendar

It’s hard to pick just one fave from Gillian Anderson’s new fashion line, which I wrote about in August. It includes: The Dapper Death Eater Trench-Cloak, The Bitchy Fictional Magazine Editor Wool Coat, The White Silk Blouse with a Mysterious Drop of Blood on It, and The “Why The Fuck Do You Think You Have Permission to Look at My Neck?” Turtleneck. But let’s go with the first one. I would let Gillian Anderson do a lot of things to me—I’m talking weird shit. Foot stuff? Sure. Lost & Delirious cosplay? Why not. Eat Apple Jacks off my nubile body? If that’s your thing. But when I see her in this Slytherin ass coat, I want her to end my life. Rob of me of my last dying breath, Gillian. Lobotomize me, queen.

Blake Lively’s Serial Killer Gloves in A Simple Favor

What are these red gloves? What sick lesbian mastermind breathed life into this idea? I have spent dozens of waking hours lying in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking about these magnificent magenta gloves. They’re not gloves for use; they’re fashion gloves. As we know, gloves are lesbian, and that is canon—or at least it became canon after Cate Blanchett asked Rooney Mara to lunch over a fucking singular glove in Carol. Is Blake Lively’s glove from A Simple Favor a nod to Carol? Probably. There are no coincidences—just derivative works of Carol.

Anne Hathaway’s “People Don’t Hate Me Anymore” Dapper Suit

Remember when America collectively hopped on the Anne Hathaway Sucks bandwagon for no reason, but then decided she was cool again after her performance in Ocean’s 8? Well fuck all of you, I’ve been a loyal Hathanator since she pwned Mandy Moore in The Princess Diaries. Anne Hathaway is a national treasure. How DARE you.

Right, the suit. Anne attended the 50th anniversary Ralph Lauren show at Fashion Week in this Coming Out as a Beloved Actress Again Suit. The shirt’s angular collar says, “I will cut you,” while her velvet, floral black blazer says, “Seriously, I sliced Hugh Jackman during production on Les Mis because I was bored and I will not spare you either. Good day.”

Awkwafina’s Dragonbreath Orange Suit

God bless the Ocean’s 8 press tour but also god bless everything Awkwafina does, like attending a screening of her movie Crazy Rich Asians in Atlanta. Eck-fuckin-scuse me?

The Gaze / The Gays / The Gayz Suits

Who could forget The Great Gay Gaze of 2018? This year, Cannes was legendary, not only because its jury was majority female, but because Cate Blanchett headed that jury alongside Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux. They left a trail of loose suits littering the coastal French town like a school of dead, washed up fish on a toxic beach. Cate’s pale pink suit and Kristen’s textured baby blue suit were two of my favorite gay outfits of the year, and then they went ahead and stood next to each other and did THIS. I mean, who amongst us hasn’t gay gazed at Cate Blanchett? Kristen Stewart was just caught in the act. Wouldn’t you carpe the diem if you had one shot to gaze at Blanchett up close??

Keira Knightley’s Sexy Bar Mitzvah Boy Velvet Tux

I’m not sure what about this outfit screams “bar mitzvah” to me—maybe its navy-blue shimmer with a stark white contrast, which reminds me of a tallit—but I can just picture Vanessa Bayer’s Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy character growing up to be a sexy as fuck Jew and wearing this exact outfit. As a Jew, I was never bat mitzvahed, but maybe I would’ve wanted to be if I knew I could grow up and wear this pearly white-trimmed suit jacket on Late Night with Seth Meyers, like Keira Knightley did on her Colette press tour. P.S., I love how a bunch of straight actresses who starred in queer movies decided to Gay their press tours this year. It was the right thing to do, ladies.

Janelle Monae’s Red “No” Suit

Do me a favor and don’t even look Janelle Monae in the eye. You don’t deserve her. Have some goddamn respect for your pansexual queen. This lurid red tuxedo-dress says “no” so you don’t have to. It’s perfect for walking into a room of men who want to explain things to you, like Amazon’s business model or what populism is, and before they even open their unworthy mouths to spew their nonsense, your suit says “not today, pal,” for you. Look the fuck away. My suit is red. No.

Cate Blanchett’s “The Sun Shines Out of My Asshole” Yellow Cannes Suit

I said what I said.

Lady Gaga’s “I’m for Lesbians Too Now” Jet Black Suit

View this post on Instagram

Hair. Body. Face. (📷: @shayanhathaway)

A post shared by Variety Magazine (@variety) on

Lady Gaga has been doing a significant amount of outreach to the lesbian community this year. She’s always been Mother Monster to gay men, but in 2018, Gaga decided she was actually for queer women too. On the red carpet for Variety’s Actors on Actors event, she sported a perfectly tailored all-black suit, including a black dress shirt, midnight tie, and a loose up-do. Her outfit says, “I challenge Cate Blanchett to an Extreme Suit-Off” while her hair says, “Yeah, I played sports in college, fuck you.”

At Elle’s Women of Hollywood event, where Gaga also wore a power suit, the singer said, “I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics and the most beautiful silks in the world. To be honest, I felt sick to my stomach.” She added, “This was an oversized men’s suit made for a woman. Not a gown. And then I began to cry. In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut.” How many queer women have been there? 2018 was the year women said “enough,” and broke free from the chains of the patriarchy to wear whatever the fuck they wanted.

Cara Delevingne’s Baberaham Lincoln Hat

Speaking of which, bisexual model and actress Cara Delevingne wore a top hat, cummerbund and coattails to a royal wedding—a uniform British men traditionally sport as formal wear. All I can say is: Abe Lincoln is fucking bald. I don’t think I’m being dramatic or radically revisionist at all in saying Cara did top hats first, Abe. So, fuck right off.

Rachel Weisz’s Suck My Musket Menswear

Rachel Weisz starred in two lesbian movies this year, one being Yorgos Lanthimos’ queer period film The Favourite. While lodged in the heart of a lesbian love triangle with Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and her distant cousin Abigail (Emma Stone), Lady Sarah (Weisz) threw on some traditionally British menswear, a feathered hat, and shot a musket in a British accent. This movie was jam-packed with paralyzingly lesbian outfits, which I detailed at length back in October. I swear to god, if the last thing I ever saw was a crusty wooden musket in the delicately gloved grip of Rachel Weisz, I would die a happy lesbian.

Blake Lively’s Lime Green Mucinex Promo Suit

This suit split gay Twitter in two: Is it perfect, or is it terrible? The answer is both, which is exactly why I adored it. I want something that simultaneously repulses me and paralyzes me, something that elicits a visceral reaction similar to vertigo—something that makes my vision go blurry because it’s just so outrageous. That’s this suit. I want it dead, and yet I want it on me. It’s like Blake saw a stunt double in a green morphsuit and was like, “Perfect—now make it fashion.”

Cate Blanchett’s Three-Piece Emerald Suit from Ocean’s 8

This year, I wrote about how every outfit Cate Blanchett wore in Ocean’s 8 made me gayer—the pale blue suit, the chef’s whites, the gay vest, the gorgeous waterfalling coats, the disco jumpsuit with unzippable cleavage, the Avril Lavigne Lesbian ties… But one outfit will be branded in the back of my skull until the day that I die. I’ve stored it where I store every embarrassing thing I’ve ever said or done which I spiral about in the dark of night. It’s the storied three-piece emerald suit.

I would say I want this image tattooed on my face, but it wouldn’t be enough. It wouldn’t accurately depict just how much I care about this outfit. The vest, the flare pant, The L Word tie, the scarf from your grandfather’s closet that smells like soup—This suit will plague me forevermore. On my wedding day, there will be a brief pause when my future wife is waiting for me to say “I do,” and I’ll be biting my lip and surreptitiously looking at the floor, kicking my feet and wondering—I can’t marry a suit, right? Jill, you’re being crazy. And then I’ll say “I do,” but I won’t mean it. I will hold out for this suit, because that’s what you do for true love: You hold a candle for your soulmate.

And shoutout to literally everything Dua Lipa wore in 2018. She looks like trap Sporty Spice and I’m here for it.

Images via Getty

‘Skateboarding is Super Queer’: An Interview with Vanessa Torres

Vanessa Torres was born in 1986 and became a professional skateboarder at age 14. An immensely talented, stylish athlete, she was one of the first women to make a dent in the male-dominated world of street skating, alongside Elissa Steamer and, later, Alexis Sablone. She is also a universal inspiration to a growing generation of younger women skateboarders. Initially sponsored by the renowned company Element, Torres eventually moved to Meow Skateboards, a smaller, all-women outfit that allows her greater creative control.

Torres is also one of the most outspoken gay skateboarders active in the sport today. At one contest, she showed up wearing a “gay rights” T-shirt a friend designed–a bold move in a sport that still clings to its heteronormative side. When I showed a picture of Torres sliding down a large downhill ledge in pajama bottoms and a hot-pink sports bra to a girlfriend of mine, my friend echoed the apocryphal line about James Bond: “I don’t want to be with her, I want to be her.”

INTO reached Torres by phone on her patio in Long Beach, California. 

Is there a large lesbian community in women’s skateboarding?

I feel like the majority of my inner circle are lesbians, or identify as non-binary or queer. I know a lot of straight people too. [laughs] Skateboarding always brings people together, no matter your preferences. I’ve been really fortunate to grow a crew.

Growing up, I skated with a lot of dudes, until I got sponsored [by Element] and started traveling and was able to meet other women who skated. When I was young being queer wasn’t talked about as much. Now it’s like, queer is trending, you know what I mean? Which can be annoying, but in skateboarding it’s rad. Right now skateboarding is super queer, and I love it.

Has that changed in the course of your career?

Yeah, it’s gotten more inclusive. Obviously there are many hardships that still lie within skateboarding. I’ve been dating my partner for over a year now, and it’s wild the way she sees the world. I see it in the same way, but I never thought about so many things, especially in skateboarding.

Traveling with dudes, I got so accustomed to a certain energy. There’s this constant banter that everyone has to uphold that can be misogynistic and objectifying. I’m not saying I contributed to the conversation, but I was outside it looking in, really close to it, and they were obviously comfortable with that. Now, being 32 and looking back, I’m like, “Holy shit.” I don’t want to be like, all cis men, I don’t want to point the finger, but in my own experience, more often than not, those are the people that are having these conversations without any regard for how damaging and harmful they can be.

Anyway, there are so many things going on right now in queer skateboarding, so many events and gatherings. Queer people are doing so much for skateboarding, reinforcing safe spaces, community, support and inclusivity. I’ve been getting more involved with that as well, because the energy feels right for me in those spaces, with my people.

In many skate videos, especially older ones, there’s the trope of the security-guard altercation. There’s a lot less of that in the all-women skate video Quit Your Day Jobwhere you have a part.

Right, it’s like [the guys] are upholding something: “Fuck the system.” I was obviously on all the sessions for Quit Your Day Job. I think honestly we just got lucky. Also, when you get older, you want to avoid citations, so if a cop tells you to go, you probably go. I can’t afford that shit. [laughs]

I think we’re all still rebellious, we’re just trying to be a little smarter about it these days. I’m not a minor anymore. I remember getting cited when I was a teenager for skating a school, and I was so scared and freaked out. There was such a crazy strong stigma around the presence of a cop. I just started crying.

Tom of Finland has a skateboarding collection, and while it’s a small thing, skateboarding gear that’s pretty sexual and geared toward gay men is definitely out there. Does the same thing exist for women?

Do you mean the same concept but by women, for women?

Yeah, exactly.

That would be fucking rad. I don’t think it’s going to be long before something like that does come out, to be honest. Everything is constantly evolving, and people are expressing themselves a lot more within skateboarding.

Maybe I’ll do it. Or maybe I know somebody who could carry the torch, and I could play some role.

I was watching Nyjah Houston’s Nike SB part the other day. But Quit Your Day Job gets me so much more excited to go skate, because it’s not just an endless succession of huge stairs and handrails.

Yeah. It offers a variety of different styles of skating. Everyone’s having fun. I think you feel that what we filmed is authentic. Grab your crew, go skate, make friends.

The more creative and authentic something presents itself to be, the more pumped I’m going to get off of it, because I relate more to it. Watching Nyja is like, Mmmmh. He’s really fucking good. But that just doesn’t get me off.

In an interview with Transworld, Lacey Baker said that while men often have the option of not skating contests, because they can survive from money from their sponsors, women never had that choice. Would you skate contests if you didn’t have to financially?

From, say, age 14 to 17, contests were really fun for me. I was experiencing that atmosphere for the first time. I was a kid who just wanted to skate. It was good meeting people and being able to go to new places. Also, I skated Street League in 2015, and had a lot of fun. Even more so because I was recently sober, and I had all this energy and was experiencing things really clearly.

But at the end of my twenties, I started having a lot more emotion toward skating contests. Like: “God, I fucking hate this.” I literally felt like I was going to fucking throw up. I’ve been skating contests for so long, but the feeling that I get has never changed. I drop in, I black out, and it’s over, and hopefully I did well. I know I’m not just speaking for myself: a lot is riding on it. There were a lot of contests in the last couple years I skated for financial reasons. I did enjoy myself a little bit, but it was more stress than actually having a good time. Associating that with skating didn’t feel right to me. I don’t want to dislike something that brings me pure happiness. I’ll occasionally skate a contest if it’s some independent thing where the skateboarding is genuine. And where you don’t have huge-ass cameras in your face.

I mean, it’s really great if you have sponsors that offer you a travel budget, and a lot more of that is happening now. I’m just going to say it: I think it’s Olympic related. They’re picking up really amazing women who fucking rip and deserve it, but it’s a little bittersweet in my opinion that because the Olympics are happening now, they’re “woke.”

I’m also just not a competitive person. I know what it takes to podium, which is where you want to be because that’s where the money is, and I’m like, “I don’t want to do that shit to my body anymore.” Mariah [Duran], Lacey [Baker], Jenn Soto—y’all have fun.

You mentioned getting sober. Why do you think alcoholism and drug addiction are so prevalent in skateboarding?

My own personal experience is that it was very normalized. I’m sure it’s like being a punk rocker—the bad kids club, you know? But being around Mariah and Jenn and the younger girls, they’re approaching life and health so differently. They do physical therapy and go to the gym. You get up early and go for a run? That’s really fucking rad.

I feel like I played a part by fucking up and being a pile of shit for so long, and then getting my shit together. Also, it’s rough to party for a really long time at a certain level. After 25 it’s just not cute. “You’re an adult hot fucking mess”—that was me.

Obviously, past age 30, a lot of things in skateboarding get harder. Has anything gotten easier for you?

I’ve brought down the level of pressure that I put on myself. I moved to Long Beach from LA, and I love it here. Cherry Park is nearby, and there’s a ditch spot super close to the water, which is rad to skate at sunset. I’ve actually learned a couple tricks in the last year. Apparently, learning new tricks is still a thing in your thirties? And that’s the shit that motivates me—that excitement of what it felt like to land your first kickflip.

You can extend the lifespan of your skating by taking care of yourself. I need to start doing yoga, but I do go to physical therapy, because I had surgery on my knee a couple years ago, and it still hurts every day. As a skateboarder, you think you have this amazing balance, but try going to a physical therapist and doing balancing exercises. You’re like, “I’m a hot mess, I can’t even.” It’s crazy. I skate better than I can walk.

This interview has been condensed and edited

Images via Getty, Facebook, YouTube

17 Wigs That Are Actually Queer Icons Who Fought For Gay Rights

If you had to come up with a list of queer icons off the top of your head, why not look to the top of your favorite actresses’ heads?

Fact: wigs are the gifts that keep on giving and when an actress dons one, it elevates her game to another celestial plane. It could be said, in fact, that some wigs are so good that they in fact, fought for gay rights.

Let’s take a deep dive into some of our favorite thespians and their hairstylings to see which ‘do truly threw the first brick.

1. Julia Roberts in Mothers’ Day

Let’s start with this: yes, this wig is divisive af. And it’s certainly not Roberts’ best. But, the very idea of this wig seems to actually be an anti-wig that snubs the idea of mom hair. It’s mocking straightness. It’s subverting the heterosexual matrix. This wig read Gender Trouble and said “Hold my beer.”

2. Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls

Of course this wig has a spot on this humble list, dear reader. This wig can say faggot. Truly. In fact, it did. This wig is so iconic it called Ariana Grande on a three-way phone call with Reese Witherspoon’s wig from Legally Blonde and forced her to make a Mean Girls-themed video for “Thank U, Next.” And you know what, she did. Because this was the wig so big it was full of secrets.

3. Melissa Leo in The Fighter

You know what? The movie title The Fighter does not reference Mark Wahlberg. It references Leo’s wig, who went down to the her son’s school and beat the shit out of some bully who called him a gay slur. This wig then opened a local chapter of PFLAG and asked her son if he wanted Truvada for his 18th birthday. “You want some PrEP, sweeetheeaaart?!”

4. Natalie Portman in Closer

This wig fucking slaps. Hard. This wig was that aunt you had who noticed you were gay before anyone else and was your secret queer icon growing up. It was Eldora. It was Caroline Rhea in Sabrina. She knew you were queer and would let you watch To Wong Foo or But I’m a Cheerleader in her room during the holiday party while no one was watching. God bless.

5. Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain

Hathaway may have not been supportive of Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain, but this wig was. This wig heard about what happened between Jack and Ennis and immediately went out and bought him some Swiss Navy or Gun Oil and told him about the importance of proper lubrication.

6. Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray

Remember that friend you came out to in high school? You were in French class and you leaned over in the back and whispered “Je suis gay” that one time and she looked at you and kinda silently wept because she had a huge crush on you. This, ladies and gentlemen, is that wig.

7. Ariana Grande in Annie

If “Into You” was the musical Stonewall, then her wig in Annie was the Compton’s Cafeteria riot, the pre-Stonewall 1966 LGBTQ riot that happened in San Francisco. This was the promise of liberation to come. The power was so strong with these curls.

8. Angelina Jolie in Life or Something Like It

In The Queer Art of Failure, Jack Halberstam argues that failure is an essential part of the way queer people learn our identities. From a very young age, we’re taught that we “fail” at what it means to live within the confines of our assigned genders. If failing is being queer, then this wig started a small circulation zine inspired by the movie roles of Kristen Stewart.

9. Halle Berry in The Call

Halle Berry’s wigs deserve their own listicle, to be honest. If we’re talking about wigs that fought for gay rights, then Halle Berry’s are ACT UP or Queer Nation. But, her wig in The Call threw several bricks. We should have an annual day dedicated solely to reverence toward this wig and observing the way its curls helped several young people find who they truly are.

10. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada

Streep’s wig in Prada not only supported your decision to start an OnlyFans, she helped you with your branding. No, but more importantly, Streep’s wig in Prada taught a generation of gays that they were just subs looking to be bossed around and be of service. Every time you see a pup on a leash on Tumblr, thank Miranda Priestley.

11. Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!

Did the color red exist before this wig? I’m not sure, but I do know one thing: the LGBTQ Pride flag adopted red as a color only after Kidman appeared in this wig in Moulin Rouge! And that’s historical facts, America. This wig reminded me to clear my browser history after searching for gay porn on my family computer and to make sure to change the channel from Logo before turning off the downstairs TV.  

12. Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost

Goldberg spent the entirety of Ghost trying to communicate with Patrick Swayze’s ghost and I’ve spent my entire life trying to communicate with Whoopi Goldberg’s wig in Ghost. It has so much to teach us. Speak to me, wig. Move the Ouija planchette. Tell me what lies ahead.

13. Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs

More like Kate Wigslet.

14. Hilary Swank in Amelia

Hilary Swank’s wig in Amelia wrote Stone Butch Blues under the pseudonym Leslie Feinberg.

15. Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd

Carter’s Mrs. Lovett wig has a queer hentai Tumblr that many have noted is “radically inclusive.”

16. Oprah Winfrey in Lee Daniels’ The Butler

To paraphrase Oprah Winfrey in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, “Everything queer people have … everything we are … is because of Oprah Winfrey’s wig in The Butler.” Winfrey’s wig redefined bouffant and then texted us that, yes, lusting after people on The Great British Baking Show is, in fact, self-care.

17. Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback

Stanislavsky gets all the credit for acting that Lisa Kudrow and her wig in The Comeback rightfully deserve. This is what it means to go Method. And not only did it redefine acting, I can’t help but feel like Kudrow’s mid-2000s wig was necessary for the last decade of LGBTQ rights wins across the nation.

BONUS: 5 wigs that were homophobic

1. Meryl Streep in The Giver

In a dystopian film, nothing is more nihilistic and anti-gay than what is sitting on Meryl’s head.

2. Emma Stone in The Help

Stone’s wig called me a fa**ot then told me that Jesus is the way, the truth, the light.

3. Bryce Dallas Howard in Twilight: Eclipse

I’m sure Anna Kendrick had some *notes* for this wig when it debuted!

4. Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four

Alba in Fantastic Four lied to you and said blonde was a good idea.

5. Marcia Gay Harden in Pollock

Kate Hudson and I are both waiting for apologies.

 

 

Is Fashion Finally Ready To Include Trans and Gender Nonconforming People?

With an estimated value of $3 trillion dollars, the fashion industry is a force to be reckoned with. From luxury brands dominating international shopping districts to fast fashion available in big box stores and online, the range and scope of offerings is now available to all consumers, no matter what their disposable income. But despite attempts from labels and brands to expand and create a diverse range of products, fashion has a problem getting diversity right. Over the past two decades, there’s been a push to include models of larger sizes and people of color, but more recently, the conversation has extended to the inclusive casting of trans and gender non-conforming models for collections and editorials.

The debate over whose “fault” the lack of inclusivity is often falls between the fashion houses for not casting trans and gender non-conforming people to star in their multi-million dollar ad campaigns, and the modeling agencies who do not represent a diverse enough range of bodies. Issues such as representation and inclusivity in fashion are a small-scale example of the macro-environment that trans and gender non-conforming people are trying to penetrate, but representation is also one of the easiest and most effective ways of making consumers feel engaged and seen by a brand. As a non-binary consumer, constantly seeing cisgender male and female models in marketing materials and on the runway is not only alienating, but it is a constant reminder that my body isn’t catered to or cared for in one of the most basic, human events possible: Getting dressed.

There have been some strides made within the fashion industry to ensure that trans and queer bodies are shown and seen, and this year’s NYFW was one of the most queer and exploratory spaces thus far. Chromat, founded by queer designer Becca McCharen-Tran, continued to cast non-traditional models, with a stellar catwalk cast featuring trans models Leyla Bloom, Carmen Carrera, Geena Rocero, Jahmal Golden, and Maya Mones as well as activist Erika Hart. 

Another standout was Marco Marco, the gay-owned underwear line featuring an all-trans line-up. The majority of these models were of the kind of “aspirational” body type that the modeling and fashion industries perpetuate, though, and that highlights a continuing problem in what kinds of bodies are prioritized and prized.

Brands such as Christian Siriano, Marc Jacobs, and Marco Marco are all LGBTQ owned and used trans and LGBTQ people in their shows, promoting the idea that queer inclusion from the beginning to the end is the only way to do it. By queer people, for queer people. Where the fashion and modeling industries are failing is when we are used as a commercial toy to make companies look like they’re being inclusive, when in actual fact there aren’t any queer people behind the scenes, and the output is clearly not authentic. Primark’s collection in the UK was something a lot of people were excited for, as they had partnered with Stonewall UK. However, one has to think about the treatment of staff from production to retail, especially queer workers, and their track record with safeguarding their staff has been poor, as they were a brand who worked with the Rana Plaza factory that collapsed five years ago.

Or, as we have seen from brands such as Victoria’s Secret recently, trans and femme inclusion is just dismissed entirely, and brands don’t feel like they need to cater to our beautiful bodies. Ed Razek, Senior Creative at Victoria’s Secret, reminded us of this in his interview with Vogue by stating that “We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.” This level of dismissal is not only transphobic, but perpetuates the idea that fashion and modeling is still incredibly heteronormative and Eurocentric, which en masse is still the case. Salty World, a platform that explores sex and dating for people of all genders, recently staged a guerrilla-style runway titled ‘TheREALcatwalk’ in Times Square as a direct response to Victoria’s Secret and its dismissal of our bodies.

When we have an executive at Victoria’s Secret openly saying that he wouldn’t cast a trans model for the runway because the runway show “is a fantasy,” it perpetuates the idea that trans women are not seen as desirable, wanted, or included in spaces where they’re already existing. We need to be able to take these views from big brands and personify them and treat brands as people. Would you interact and engage with someone who said this? If the answer is no, then why are you still shopping there?

View this post on Instagram

On Saturday December 1 the 2019 #theREALcatwalk, the third and largest iteration of the guerilla style, flash mob-like fashion show came to Times Square. More than 200 (TWO HUNDRED!!) models from all over the world- from Italy, California, London, Texas and more – walked in lingerie and swimsuits in a symbolic act to celebrate all bodies and highlight the need for diversity and inclusivity in fashion and beyond. . Model @iamjarijones, who opened the show said "What a dream to be a black, plus sized trans model and open up a show in the middle of Times Square and have the world at your feet. We are on the brink of real change in this industry." . Initially established four years ago by model and Next Top Model alum @Khrystyana Kazakova, the mission of #theREALcatwalk has since expanded to highlight broader issues: a statement on body acceptance, self love, mental illness awareness, visibility and diversity. She tells Salty, by creating #theRealcatwalk, "I'm using my platform and privilege to celebrate others." . #theREALcatwalk #togetherwestrut Video by @themollyzone photos by @jesspettway. Link in our stories for all the pics!!

A post shared by Salty (@salty.world) on

But the industry isn’t all bad. Trans disabled model and activist Aaron Philip has starred in campaigns for ASOS and continues to highlight the double standards of the modeling industry. GAP hired deaf transgender activist Chella Man for their Autumn/Winter campaign. Although his visibility as a trans person in the campaign wasn’t the highlight, Chella Man told INTO he was happy to share their spotlight with queer folks like King Princess and Madame Gandi in an “amplified reach of our voices on a global scale.” Chella Man also discusses the power other brands have to influence change. “For them [Gap] to share their spotlight with queer folks and allow us to tell our stories through the platform amplified the reach of our voices on a global scale. It is on other brands to follow in their footsteps. Cast your campaigns to represent the world as it truly is.”

Hari Nef has worked with Gucci for many seasons, and her work as a trans woman in both Hollywood and high fashion shows that trans inclusion is something all tiers of the industry are finally getting on board with.

Two agencies are actively focusing on putting trans and gender nonconforming people in ads, runway, and editorial. SLAY, a New York-based agency featured in the 2016 Oxygen series Strut, represents models such as Mimi Tao and Arisce Wanzer, and is profiling trans beauty and excellence throughout the fashion global stage. Across the pond, UK-based agency Crumb recently set up their own non-binary board after signing several non-binary models such as Finn Love, Benedict Douglas and myself. Many of the non-binary models work as drag performers and in London’s LGBTQIA+ night scene, showing the magic that London has to offer once the lights go down.

It’s about simple processes like a polite reminder on all booking forms that our non-binary models sometimes prefer to be addressed as ‘they/them’ on set and that changing areas should be considered,” a Crumb representative told INTO. “ If at any point they feel uncomfortable we are always on the end of our phones… We rep reality.”

As a member of Crumb’s board, it’s refreshing to be involved with an agency that actively cares for and respects non-binary bodies, and ensures that our safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance. Other agencies out there that want to hire trans and GNC models need to recognize that it’s about listening to them and allowing your agency to adapt. It can be difficult, as the modeling industry is a very binary world, but trans and GNC people have been around forever, and it’s about time we are allowed to thrive in these spaces.

Models such as Caroline Cossey, who was famously outed by the tabloids in the ‘80s as being trans after modeling for Playboy, were pioneers of their time, and continue to be for trans models, and trans people everywhere. It’s important to recognize these feats of inclusion as something excellent, but it should also just should be the status quo.

All brands and agencies that cater to large groups of people should strive and include trans and gender non-conforming people in their work and their businesses, without expecting a medal for human decency. They should also begin to really think about the ways in which they’re marketing their products when they try and use gender-fluidity as the next “trend.” We don’t care for your oversized hoodies and tracksuits that you’re describing as gender-neutral, or your boyfriend jeans. Clothes are clothes, and the constant binary categorization of these garments is not only ostracizing to GNC consumers, but lazy.

Trans people exist. And LGBTQ people have outsize spending power, estimated at $987 billion in 2017. We don’t only have a voice, we have an active choice as to where we spend our hard earned coin, and that’s powerful. In a time where brands are easily outed as being transphobic, or shown to be replicating heteronormative and patriarchal structure systems in their businesses, it’s time that this business changes so that trans and gender non-conforming people take their rightful throne within the managerial positions within these companies, so we can begin to make the right changes from day one.

Images via Getty

Barbara Sanchez-Kane Is Bringing the Macho Sentimental to Menswear

Inspired by sentimentality and love, Mexican fashion designer Barbara Sanchez-Kane is on a mission to create clothes for a muse she has dubbed the “Macho Sentimental.” The Macho Sentimental can be someone of any gender; any individual who is in touch with their emotions. It is out of that space that Sanchez-Kane creates her innovative, unique designs that take inspiration from both high fashion couture and Mexican streetwear.

Sanchez-Kane recently collaborated with Nike on their The Force is Female project and hosted a pop-up in Los Angeles in late November. INTO caught up with the queer designer to talk about the philosophy guiding her inspired menswear line.

Barbara Sanchez-Kane
Barbara Sanchez-Kane

What does “Macho Sentimental” mean to Barbara Sanchez-Kane? Is there a safe way for queer women to be masculine without embracing the toxic parts of masculinity?

MA·CHO SEN·TI·MEN·TAL

Noun

  1. A human being of either sex; a person. Strongly influenced by

emotional feelings and in contact with male and female forces.

synonymous: human being, human, person, mortal,

individual, personage, soul.

I think we need more education – that is the main problem with the toxic part of masculinity. That is derived in aggressiveness and violent response as we have been taught that masculinity is associated with these terms that need to be broken.

Barbara Sanchez-Kane

You are a lesbian fashion designer who makes menswear. Do you think the phrase “menswear” is outdated now since people of all genders wear what is considered “men’s” or “women’s” clothes?

Sanchez-Kane started as a menswear brand. I use the term menswear just as a marketing strategy in sizing purpose, but as I say, we dress the Macho Sentimental.

Barbara Sanchez-Kane

You used to live in Los Angeles where you interned for German designer Bernhard Willhelm. Do you see his influence on your work or the experience of having lived in Los Angeles in your clothes?

Well, my first collection Citizen Sanchez-Kane was designed based on an old love relationship I had during my time in LA.  So yes all experiences and places influence my work.

Barbara Sanchez-Kane

You’ve created pieces in your fashion line that were inspired/for your mother and in your pop-up in Los Angeles, your mother was there to assist you with the event. You also have an alter-ego called “SOLRAC,” which your father’s name spelled backward. How does your relationship with your parents inform your work?

I couldn’t have built SANCHEZ-KANE without the support of my parents.

Family is the main pillar of my education and will continue to be a presence in the brand. I am so blessed to share all the growth of the brand with them.

Barbara Sanchez-Kane

You publish love poems and journal entries on your Instagram signed with the name “SOLRAC.” The graphics on your clothes feature phrases such as “Mexikanemicorazon” and “Freelance Lover,” along with “Macho Sentimental.” Is Sanchez-Kane a brand for queer romantics?

I am a sentimental romantic 100 percent guided by my inner feelings. I found in clothing the best way to deal with my problems good and bad ones. Is therapeutic and a way of living. Women have always been the starting point to create a world where all the misfits are welcome to join.

Barbara Sanchez-Kane

All photos by Navi.

Victoria’s Secret Has Never Been LGBTQ-Friendly Because It Doesn’t Want To Be

About a month ago, a friend told me she’d had a terrible experience at a nearby Victoria’s Secret. She’s masculine of center — a lesbian — with a short haircut, and more often than not wears clothing from the men’s section. That day, she needed some bras, so she headed to the store internationally known for its undergarments.

“No one asked me if I needed anything or if I needed any help, so I just went into the section I thought would work out,” my friend, Laura Fiorino, told me. “I went and I grabbed a couple sizes and went into the dressing room or the fitting room and the person just kind of looked at me like ‘Can I help you?'”

Fiorino said the Victoria’s Secret employee looked “shocked and surprised.” Once inside a fitting room, she said that the employee came in several times to check on other clients in rooms around her, offering measurements and other sizing and fit options that she never offered to Fiorino.

“She put my name on the door, but never asked if I needed anything, so I had to go out and get another size,” Fiorino said. “I had to go out, get it myself, come back in.”

Frustrated, Fiorino decided to speak with the manager of the location in Los Angeles’s popular Beverly Center shopping mall.

“I said ‘You really need to be more inclusive. People come here – this is LA, all types of people, diversity of background come in here, and you really need to accommodate everyone and not only worry about your femme clientele,'” Fiorino recalled.

But the manager wasn’t very receptive.

“She was just kind of like, ‘That’s really good feedback. Oh, I really appreciate your feedback,’ not really apologetic to the situation at all,” Fiorino said. “I told her ‘I’m actually never coming back here again.'”

This situation is a symptom of a much larger problem, and happened just a few weeks before Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of L Brands, which owns and operates Victoria’s Secret, made headlines for telling Vogue that trans and plus-size models would never be a part of their annually televised runway show.

“If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” Razek told Vogue. “We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.”

He went on to say that people often ask, “‘Why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show?’ No. No, I don’t think we should. ‘Well, why not?’ Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”

Razek’s comments echoed a sentiment long believed true of Victoria’s Secret, but one that hadn’t faced as much public scrutiny until now. While it’s long been known that the retail chain prizes and promotes uber-thin, feminine, mostly white cisgender models, the brand has been able to ignore detractors and continue to profit without much damage to their bottom line. Their recently released third-quarter earnings statement for this year noted that the retail locations alone brought in $1.529 billion, and their holiday-timed annual fashion show airing on ABC this Sunday night will surely bring in more online and in-person sales this holiday season.

As Vogue published in their piece, the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was seen by 1 billion people in 190 countries. Surely trans and plus-size women, as well as others not represented by their selection of models, were part of that viewership, and part of the spending power that has kept Victoria’s Secret in business for so long. But in its 41 years of existence, Victoria’s Secret has never once participated in any LGBTQ initiative — not even during Pride, when brands often make their first attempt at acknowledging the community — and if the brand is adamant about not marketing to LGBTQs, why should we keep buying what they’re selling?

Rob Smith worked as Victoria’s Secret’s executive vice president of merchandising from 2010 until 2012. He now owns The Phluid Project, an all-gender retail and community space in Manhattan, and says that while L Brands offered an LGBTQ Employee Resource Group and extended same-sex partner benefits that pleased the HRC, there was no interest in marketing to the LGBTQ community. 

There’s the internal organization which … certainly checks off all the boxes in order to get a high ranking like LGBT organizations monitor,” Smith told INTO

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees were a part of the larger company based in Columbus, Ohio, but back then, he says, there were no transgender employees, certainly not in any kind of senior-level executive level representation.

“I would say the brand has had tremendous success, and in many ways, the world continues to move forward and I’m not sure that the executives in power embrace the change in the evolution,” Smith said. “And that maybe there’s people talking within the organization but they’re not hearing it.”

There have been attempts at change, though, from the outside. In 2013, GLAAD supported trans model Carmen Carrera’s petition to become their first trans model. 

“I want to do this for the 50,000 people who signed the petition on Change.org,” Carrera told Time. “I want to do this for, of course, me and my career. I’m a showgirl at heart. If I’m going to do fashion shows, this is the one to do. And I want to do it for my family. I want them to be proud of me. I want them to be like, that’s our kid, we raised that girl right there. And my community, for sure.”

But after Razek tweeted that Victoria’s Secret “absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show” and that they’ve had “transgender models come to castings,” Carrera wrote an Instagram post saying she doesn’t know “if this is exactly true.”

“In 2016, contact was made and an audition was set up for me and another girl but then I received a call from my agent that my audition was cancelled,” she wrote. “The morning of the audition.”

View this post on Instagram

I just want to say that for the record, I do not know if this is exactly true. However, I personally have never auditioned for @victoriassecret. In 2016, contact was made and an audition was set up for me and another girl but then I received a call from my agent that my audition was cancelled. The morning of the audition. I don’t understand if these casting folks just like to make you suffer on purpose or they just wanted to rejoice in their own foolery after they cancelled it. Who knows? All I know is, they knew who I was and how much international support I received to make this happen. Not bragging but it was way more exposure than any other rumored VS prospect they’ve ever had and yet they still chose to sleep on it #facts. I hope they change that real soon! If they are ready for a positive change with a big impact, they know where to find me! Xo

A post shared by Carmen Carrera (@carmen_carrera) on

According to GLAAD’s Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro, 2018 was the first time any actual conversation was happening between GLAAD and Victoria’s Secret. But the point of contact was then-CEO Jan Singer, who resigned two weeks ago after two years with the company.

“Earlier this year, GLAAD was in conversation with Victoria’s Secret around a potential series of LGBTQ presentations that would equip corporate and retail staff with ways to be more inclusive of LGBTQ consumers,” Ferraro told INTO. “Those conversations fell apart following the gross comments from CMO Ed Razek and after the CEO Jan Singer – who GLAAD understands to be a supporter of diversity and transgender inclusion – departed. GLAAD was among the voices that slammed Razek’s original comments.” 

After Singer’s departure, Ferraro said, Victoria’s Secret stopped responding.

“We reached out after Razek’s comments, but VS did not engage,” Ferraro said. “He then issued the apology that was not well received. We spoke out publicly after it, as did many.”

GLAAD’s work with the brand would have been extensive in its training, Ferraro said. Retail workers and management would be trained on working with LGBTQ employees and customers. Ferraro said it “certainly have included a push to include LGBTQ models in the televised show and to be inclusive across their channels.”

“We tailor presentations based on brands and companies,” he said, noting that GLAAD tweeted in support of trans models after Razek’s Vogue interview.

Interestingly, some of the models who will appear in this year’s Victoria’s Secret Show have been advocates for the community in the past, but seem to be tightlipped about their support now.

Kendall Jenner, whose parent is Caitlyn Jenner, has not made any statements condemning the brand, who also outfitted Kendall and her sisters as Victoria’s Secret angels in elaborate Halloween sponsored content. The day of the Vogue piece,  Jenner posted an Instagram story with the image of a button reading “Celebrate trans women.” Stella Maxwell, who doesn’t speak publicly about her sexual identity but is in a high-profile relationship with out actress Kristen Stewart, did not respond to requests for comment and has not made any statements to the press. Josephine Skriver, who refers to herself as a “proud rainbow kid” and often advocates for LGBTQs as the product of a gay father and lesbian mother, was also unavailable, and while she didn’t post anything related to Razek’s Vogue interview, she did thank him by name in two Instagram posts.

Bisexual pop stars Halsey and Rita Ora both perform on this year’s show, as does Shawn Mendes, whose producer, Teddy Geiger, came out as trans last year. None of them have reacted to Razek’s comments, but continue to publicize the show. 

One trans woman who has been a longtime VS fan is Laverne Cox. Cox, who tweeted about watching the show in 2011, will likely appear in audience shots, as she attended this year’s taping, sharing Instagram photos and video from the carpet and inside. Cox’s reps also said she was unavailable for comment, and while she hasn’t spoken out directly against Victoria’s Secret, she did share some Instagram posts supporting trans models more generally.

I think they could empower their models to speak,” Smith said. “The thing is, you can’t monitor the things they say and don’t say but I’m sure if you let these women speak out, they’re going to have a much more progressive posture than Victoria’s Secret as a brand does. They are Gen Z, you know? They are reflective of the shifting worldviews. I’m sure their own personal views are, I would guess, possibly more progressive than Victoria’s Secret’s, and they can leverage that.”

That said, Smith thinks they are encouraged not to say anything that would take away from the spectacle of the show.

“If their conversation and their points of view become bigger than the show then I think they feel like they’ve lost the show, which is, in their mind, aspirational fantasy,” he said. 

But whose fantasy, and based on whose ideals? 

“Many people think it’s cisgender straight guys watching the shows,” Smith said. “It’s women who are watching it, and it’s their idea of beauty, so I think society’s got to step back and say ‘What are we doing by supporting this?’ This idea of beauty that looks almost like it’s aspirational, but it’s unrealistic and I think you know what I love about Instagram and the new faces of beauty, and even I don’t like the word beauty but the new faces are so reflective of the spectrum of who we are, in gender, race, size, and socioeconomic status.”

In the last year, despite making more than one billion dollars in one single quarter, Victoria’s Secret has been in a decline. Sales are slumping and select locations are closing, which some perceive to be based on the more inclusive lines from competitors like Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty and Third Love. 

Perhaps it’s time for something new — a new aspirational fantasy. What would Victoria’s Secret stand to lose by becoming a brand less about unrealistic ideas of fantasy and instead, a brand that provides more room at the proverbial bedside table?

There’s a certain point where you see just at the table with traditional straight older white guys, you’re not going to move very far,” Smith said. “You’re not going to move the company as far as it should be moved or it could be moved.”

With Razek at the helm and Singer’s exit as CEO, however, it doesn’t appear the company is moving toward a more inclusive future. Instead, it seems to be continuing down an outdated path of perceived fantastical perfection based on highly-specific body parts fitting into extremely limited sizing. And should customers not reflect who Razek believes the brand is marketing to, then their customer service will continue to turn people off and away to other brands looking to offer alternatives.

“I think it’s such a great opportunity to take something that is so ingrained in our society; it’s something that we celebrate, and it seems completely dated so it’s not just a reflection of Victoria’s Secret, it’s a reflection of us as a society and how we see beauty and how we see women,” Smith said. “If we step back and look at ourselves and say what are we doing to young women by saying ‘this is beauty’ and not being inclusive with non-binary, trans, queer women?”

Smith thinks it could be ultimately helpful for Victoria’s Secret to use this opportunity to shake things up, and to be more progressive, if even for their own benefit. 

I think that’s what companies have to face now. They have to face the risk versus relevance and I think the best example is Nike, who stuck their neck out with Colin Kaepernick. And there’s a lot of people who thought they would suffer, their stock would suffer, their sale would suffer, and the opposite happened, you know? Completely opposite,” Smith said. “They were celebrated and awarded both within their stock value and their sales and customer loyalty. So I would say sure, they’re going to lose some people, possibly, but in order to stay relevant with this younger generation, it’s expected. You know, if they don’t do it, somebody else will, and they’ll lose market share.”

Images via Getty

Move Over Tevas: This Is The New Shoe That Every Lesbian Needs

Lesbians are always on the go; whether we’re hiking with our emotional support dog named Buffy, strolling through Whole Foods 365 and telling strangers when and why we stopped eating meat, or standing in line for a Banks concert — we need a good shoe to support our everyday needs. And now, it’s finally here: Vans is giving us a shoe that was seemingly created exclusively for lesbians, and it should be required by law that all queer women buy them.

Vans, a brand that has always belonged to skater boys and former Warped Tour lesbians, has collaborated with NASA to give us an extremely Sapphic shoe line. The Space Voyager Collection commemorates 60 years of space exploration and innovation at NASA, and as we know, queer women fucking love space. Show me one woman who has kissed a woman who doesn’t have a NASA shirt and/or has been to space camp. The line is modeled after the original space suits, with four different variations, all of which is guaranteed to evoke a strong sense of NASA nostalgia. They’re the perfect holiday gift for the queer lady or non-binary person in your life.

Vans x Space Voyager Old Skool – Firecracker

The firecracker low-tops are ideal for your extremely extra queer friend. They’re space suit orange, and have the old school NASA logo on the side, as well as a Velcro American flag on the heel. These shoes are brighter than the men you dated before you knew you were gay’s futures. They’re perfect for standing in line at the movies to see The Favourite, only for a man to approach and say, “I couldn’t help but notice you’re wearing NASA shoes, did you know that Apollo 11—” then you can shove your pointer finger against his mouth and say, “Yes, I know Apollo 11 landed the first two people on the moon, I’m not an idiot.” Then, we he insists he wasn’t mansplaining, he was “just trying to make conversation,” you can say, “Did YOU know that Russia sent a woman into space 20 years before the US did? Or that the first woman to walk in space was also Russian?” And when he stares at you like, “Uhhhh,” you can remind him why it’s important for us to topple the patriarchy and stop upholding systems of oppression based on race and gender or we’ll never be able to compete as a modern world power.

Anyway, this shoe is really good for that.

Vans x Space Voyager Old Skool – White

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, the Space Voyager Old Skool shoe also comes in white. It still says “Space does not belong to you, men,” but it’s less in your face. Sometimes, the best approach for a debate about space and the patriarchy in line at the movies is a more muted one. Men typically respond better to a more agreeable tone, because when women raise their voice literally at all, or even use big words so that it sounds like they’re yelling, when in reality they’re completely monotone, men get super defensive. So, if you’re looking to reel it in a bit, strictly for the purpose of protecting baby men’s feelings and having a constructive conversation about 1960s space politics, the white Space Voyager Old Skool may be for you. These shoes are white with hints of orange on the tongue, inner-shoe, and NASA symbol. They’re like a chic dad-sneak — they’re comfortable and work with every outfit without sacrificing an ounce of lesbianism. These shoes are also really good for marching in pride parades, being the hot lesbian counselor at space camp, and chilling at home while engaging in discourse about intersectional feminism on Twitter.

Vans x Space Voyager SK8-HI 46 MTE DX – Black

This black and white high-top shoe says, “Step on Me, Sally Ride.” If you don’t know, Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, and lived a very secret life as a queer woman at a time when being out and proud wasn’t an option — especially as the feminist face of a government program. The queer astronaut was in a relationship with a woman for more than 20 years before she passed away from cancer in 2012. Ride was a hero through and through and changed the cultural narrative for women in the workforce, and after her long stint with NASA, dedicated her life to helping young girls get and stay interested in science. Why am I telling you all this? Because Sally Ride is 90 percent of the reason that I care about NASA, and I will honor her legacy by being a bullheaded feminist lesbian, proudly striding through every organic supermarket or cat adoption center wearing my Step On Me Sally Vans, and holding hands with my girlfriend. She couldn’t, so we must.

Vans x Space Voyager SK8-HI 46 MTE DX – White

Did you know Sally Ride’s sister was also gay? Did you know Sally left her husband, who was also in her class in the space program, to be with her partner of 20+ years? None of this has much to do with this specific shoe, but I wasn’t done talking about Sally Ride. The point I’m trying to make is: space is canonically gay, at least for women. But the shoe: These white high-tops actually look like straight-up space boots. Just like the black high-tops, they have an original Velcro NASA patch on each shoe, as well as a Velcro firecracker orange Vans patch on the tongue. I won’t dance around it, or formulate some long-winded scenario about toppling the patriarchy, or flex my encyclopedic knowledge on queer icon Sally Ride. Instead, I’ll keep it simple: These shoes are perfect for being gay and liking space.

Purchase this lesbian footwear, and other Space Voyager paraphernalia (T-shirts, anoraks, and more) on Vans.com.

Why Are Republicans Literally So Obsessed With Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Clothes?

So it’s the middle of November and I think a lot of folks are relaxing after some really great midterm election results. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and, even more importantly, so is Black Friday. This capitalist holiday couldn’t come faster for Republicans because wow, they actually can’t stop talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “fancy clothes.”

The most recent example comes from some guy named Eddie Scarry, which, okay I won’t make any jokes about that. Scarry tweeted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez from the back, which was apparently taken by a DC staffer. “That jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles,” writes Scarry, who has never heard of Nordstrom Rack apparently.

Most folks were not having any of this and quickly pulled up some receipts of Scarry being really freaking creepy on Twitter. Also, you should peep that reply ratio on his original tweet, talk about Scarry (I’m sorry.)

The context behind Scarry’s statement is Ocasio-Cortez’s extreme openness regarding her financial situation. In an interview with the New York Times, she talked about how she can’t work before her term starts, so she is financially in an awkward place because she can’t afford to move to DC before she starts drawing a government salary. In a follow-up tweet she noted that this is one of the many ways that the system isn’t designed for working class people to be elected.

I consulted with experts and just about 130 percent of Fox’s coverage since this New York Times interview has been about how Ocasio-Cortez is either not as poor as she says or that she is poor, but shouldn’t ask people for money — which she didn’t.

This has been going on for months now, not just with her clothes, but with *checks notes* everything she does or says. After Ocasio-Cortez entered into the national spotlight for winning the Democratic Primary in her district, Fox News was losing their minds that, not only was a Democratic Socialist most likely going to be elected to Congress, but that she was loud and proud about her politics.

In September, founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA and “#1 Socialism Fan Boy” Charlie Kirk tweeted that Ocasio-Cortez was a fraud because she wore an expensive suit in a magazine photo shoot. This point was picked up in a segment on Fox and Friends, in which the hosts mocked Ocasio-Cortez for having “expensive taste.”

What Ocasio-Cortez (and everyone with an internet connection) pointed out is that for magazine photo shoots, you don’t get to keep the clothes. Typically magazines are given clothes from sponsors and the stylists will put them on the subject.

The fact that Republicans are still trying these embarrassing scare tactics against socialism, implying that Ocasio-Cortez is a lying rich girl, is probably a good example of what’s to come. When the mere concept of socialist policy like free college or universal healthcare crosses the minds of right-wing media organizations, they seem to try to fight with whatever they can find in their reach — which, evidently, hasn’t been much.

My favorite thing that’s coming out of this mess was during a Fox News segment about some of the new Congresswomen of color, including Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, and their policy goals. The graphic shows the faces of the four women, smiling, and lists things like “free college for all” and “free healthcare for all.” Very Scarry (last one, I promise) concepts, indeed. Ocasio-Cortez responded to the unintentionally hilarious Fox News graphic, “Oh no! They discovered our vast conspiracy to take care of children and save the planet 😂”.

So I think we should all help out our friends on the Right by sending them some Black Friday deals or the address of their local thrift shop. Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t need to be the stylish frugal one — people on both sides of the aisle can be a maxxinista.