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Please note that this entire conversation was apropos of nothing. In fact, we were both just doing our own thing, listening to music…
Violet: You know what?!?
Me: Nope. What?
Violet: We should have our first dance be to a Cher song!
Me: Don’t play with me like that, V.
Violet: I’m serious. It would be perfect.
Me: I have found the one.
Two things to cover here: Burlesque and Chaz.
I saw Burlesque in it’s 15th hour of going live in the theaters (as live as an already made movie can be) and here’s the truth: It rocked my fagilicious-lesbianitious socks. I was nothing short of totally entertained for every single mil-second that the movie was playing.
Here’s the other truth: The movie isn’t great. The plot is kind of silly and doesn’t do a thing to make you say, “We couldn’t have known that would happen!” Christina uses her sexy mousy-speaking-voice-self to eventually get on stage and blow the place away with the singing ability of 4,752 burly chorus women. But we already know this about her, don’t we? Not that her voice isn’t incredible and constantly mind-blowing, it is. It’s just… we already know this.
I am NOT trying to come down on this movie, I am just trying to offer some honesty before I freak the fuck out all over again about HOW AMAZING AND FABULOUS Cher was… is. She has a lead role and her camera time is way too thin. If this movie wanted to triple it’s viewers and sales there should have been a whole lot more Cher – but we could say that about anything couldn’t we? Want to make a bazillion dollars selling squashed fire ants? GET CHER! You’ll be able to retire rich as all hell in two and a half hot minutes.
So, here’s how Burlesque went for me in a verbose and dramatic summary: “Ya, ya, Christina’s hot, Christina can sing, Christina isn’t a terrible actress but her character didn’t give her much to work with. The boys are all dumb and love her, the girls are all jealous and want to be her, the dancing is totally entertaining but…
And then, all of a sudden, 20 or so minutes into this film with a silly story line where the waitress’ name is Loretta and the main dumb boy’s name is Jake… all of a sudden the world goes silent and there she is, standing on stage, as she slowly turns around and begins to shine a light back into life as we are so lucky to know it, with that melting golden butter blanket of a voice: Cher begins to sing.
And then I whimpered and then I died and then I turned into a puddle of faggy-goo. Violet tried to save me as I slid through the cracks of the theatre chair onto the ground and flowed down the sloping theatre floor until I hit the movie screen, seeped inside of it and got totally lost for what could have been forever, in everything that makes Cher the most remarkable definition of fabulous that ever was, is or could ever be.
It is no exaggeration to say that Cher makes this movie.
Cher carries the whole thing. Her gay sidekick, played by Stanley Tucci, was a definite second best, upping the bar on the acting scale and making the poorly written lines a bit more believable. But Cher. Goddamn that amazing woman. Whatever she did, said, sang, however she laughed, moved, licked her lips, flipped her hair, (SPOILER ALERT!) smashed a window with a tire iron… Holy mother of all things wicked, perfect, sexy and hot, she was just simply, incredibly, wonderfully, flawlessly Cher. And by Cher I mean the truest form of fabulous that ever was, is or could ever be.
So! Go see Burlesque, be ready to not be totally excited about the content but at the same time watch the Goddess of All Things Fabulous and Sparkly be absolutely amazing in every single way… as usual and to be expected.
Now, this Chaz thing: To everyone out there who has come up with some decided, negative opinion of Cher because of this whole Chastity now Chaz thing: To you I bid a sincere fuck off. Seriously.
This is about Cher and Chaz. This is between Cher and Chaz. This is about a very loving and uber famous mother and son, once daughter. This isn’t you and your college roommate, Christie, now Christopher. This is one of the most public and famous (and fabulous) women in the world with her very public adult child trying to maneuver in the world the best that they can.
If I all of a sudden changed my name from Jesse to Jasper and my mom got tripped up on that and said things like, “I just think of her as Jesse still.” Well, guess what folks – that is not an insult or an injustice or homophobic – that is just my mother, who named me, who has been calling me Jesse for 33 years getting a bit tripped up by sudden and dramatic change to how she has known me all of my life.
Chaz gets this. Cher admits this.
Yes, I am defensive of all things Cher, but that is because she is perfect… but also, folks calling her transphobic for accidentally calling her son, Chaz, who was very recently her daughter, Chastity, for the last 40 years, by female instead of male pronouns, isn’t anything else but forgetting to call her very loved child, now son, all of less than one out of forty one years, very recently daughter for the last forty years, ‘him’.
Still taking issue? Well, how about this, how about right this very second you start only writing with the hand you never use – and when you forget and write with the one that makes you the most comfortable- BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONE YOU’VE USED YOUR WHOLE LIFE, well, consider it blatant self hate.
Oh? You just forgot and aren’t used to it or comfortable or good at it yet? You aren’t left-hand-transphobic!?! You’re just a righty who finds it really difficult to remember to use the other one? Ah, I see. Well then, give it some time, because we’ll just assume you are, at the very least, one smidgen of a percent as kind and wonderful and amazing as Cher, which is more than enough to know that you’ll be just fine. Be patient with yourself, Righty… eh hem, sorry, I mean Lefty. We’ll get there.
And now, a clip from the movie with the woman that makes the world go around when gravity takes a break:
So, this is what happened. I never talk about it really. I wonder if Violet even knows the story. I would say that it’s because the story annoys me, but the truth, as annoying as it is to admit, is because it still stings.
So, here’s what happened.
I was in high school. I was lucky and had a pretty tight knit group of friends and quite a few really. I also had a girlfriend. This is the part no one knew about. She was more popular than me and was the best lesbo-cover-up a dyke in Smallmindednowhereville could ask for. She was smart and pretty and sweet and everyone loved her. Including me, obviously.
We started secretly dating each other our sophomore year. It was a funny and awkward progression into realizing that we were a couple. We didn’t actually talk about it for the first year of being together. The first time I tried to tell Marie that I was gay I decided to downgrade it a notch (in my mind) and say I was bisexual. But when I looked into her big beautiful blue eyes I knew. Every time. I knew that I was gay and she wasn’t. We were in love, don’t get me wrong. We were very, very in love but that didn’t change who we were. So, I looked her right in her big blue eyes and said, “Marie, I’m, I mean, well… I’m a bi…” when she jumped in and said, “What, jesse?!”
“I think I’m… well, um… a bicycle.” And then I said I had to pee, which I did, and that I would be right back ,which I was. When I got back to her room she said nothing and I said nothing. We said nothing about that again, until we did.
A few months later I tried again. At this point we had been a couple for a little more than a year. This time we were taking a walk around her neighborhood in the middle of the night. We use to sneak out of her parents’ house and go on walks together in the middle of the night so that we could hold hands. It was a big deal. Holding her hand filled me with more butterflies than kissing did. It was harder to do and because it was so difficult and risky, for some reason, it felt more intimate.
As we were walking, stepping around street lights I asked, “Remember when I was a total weirdo and told you I was a bicycle?” Marie said, “Ya, I didn’t know you were stoned until you said that. Whatever.” I put my head down and said, “I wasn’t high.” And in the same breath I said, “I’m gay.”
Marie stopped so I stopped and we both sat on the curb together. Something about the stillness of sitting there in the dark with Marie’s hands all wrapped in mine made everything boiling inside of me fall out and I started crying in a way that I never allowed myself to. I tucked my head into my hands and felt like I might have to sit like that forever. I felt so embarrassed and exposed and wrong and sitting next to the only person who really knew me, who loved me deeper than my whole being, I still felt alone. It took me years to realize how strange it was that the first person I ever came out to was my girlfriend.
So we were sitting on this curb a few blocks from Marie’s house at 2 am and as she wove my hands back into hers, she leaned in and put her head in my neck and whispered, “I know, jesse. You’re beautiful.” And I just sat there sobbing until I nearly fell asleep on the street as she rubbed my head. There were a million more things I wanted to say and ask and it was the first time in my life that I felt like I couldn’t say any of it to her. Any of it. And some of it I never did. And when the night sky began to lighten we knew we had to go.
—– —– —–
This whole post is supposed to be about the shit I went through in high school, so, let’s jump a year. Junior year sucked the most. The more my relationship with Marie grew the more isolated I felt from the world around me. I was crazy in love and no one knew, except for Marie. I also hated that I was gay. It was a safe secret so it mostly seemed like another stupid problem that I really didn’t have time for. It felt scary, the potential of it. I saw what happened to the kids accused of being gay. It was not pretty and usually it was terrible and sometimes it was bloody and sometimes the accused just disappeared to another school in a different district, never to be seen or heard from again, ever.
So, here it is – the moment that started super-suckdom-of-all-suckyness-in-all-the-land:
Marie, most of my friends and I were at a slumber party at Sarah’s house. Marie and I went into the bathroom together to change into our pj’s. We started kissing. The part of this story that I didn’t know about for several months was that Sarah’s little brother had put a ladder up outside the bathroom window to be a perv and watch us change. Well, little brother got a whole lot more than a couple of training bras putting on pj’s, that is for sure. And so, the next day he told his sister. His sister, Sarah, and I were friends but as it should turn out our friendship was not as valuable as this new information and she began to tell our friends what her brother had seen.
I still don’t know how quickly this spread or exactly how, but it did and here’s how I found out:
I got to school about a half hour before classes started, like we all did every day to have our teenage social needs met first thing. I walked down the hallway, found my group of friends sitting where they always did and just as soon as I sat down three of them stood up and walked away. The one closest to me said this as she walked away, “Gross, I think she just touched my arm.”
[Writing this out is making me take some really uncomfortable breaths. Like I said earlier, I don't talk about this because it sounds so trivial and teenaged and that compared to the way it can still sock me a good one in the gut 18 years later, that imbalance makes me feel silly and unadjusted with the world.]
So, they all got up and walked away, leaving me sitting there alone with a bright red face and empty lungs. My mind raced to come up with, invent, another reason for what was happening but I knew what was happening and if there was any way to wish yourself dead I wouldn’t be writing right now.
So, fast forward past all of the obvious repercussions of being me and outted against my will or want in Smallmindednowhereville, past the feeling of being totally isolated turned total reality and past all of my hatred for myself being promoted and validated by everyone that mattered all around me. Past starting to flunk out of school, drinking too much, too often, past the eating disorders, past the late night drunken plans to get out of this tiny awful world somehow: running away, killing myself or just hiding in every way possible, for as long as I possibly could until I turned 18 and then leave immediately (I went with the third option), past all of the bold face lies I told to the few friends that tried to stay true, that confronted me and said, “Just tell me. I don’t care, I just want to know.” Fast forward to now. To tonight.
I hadn’t figured out how to contribute to the It Gets Better Project and at this point had decided I wouldn’t, not in the forum it was happening anyway. I am an activist by nature and I have and do and will contribute, of course, I just didn’t think I would be writing this post.
But then, tonight, I got home and checked my personal email, like I do, and found an email with a name on it that I could say I vaguely recognized, but I would say that to save face and I would be lying. The name on this email is someone I haven’t spoken to in 18 years. Tonight, just now, I got an email from the girl in high school, my friend until that early Tuesday morning when we were all 15 years old and sleepy and needed each other so much that we made it a point to get to the one building we all wanted out of more than anything, even before we had to be there, so very early in the morning, just so we could see each other, because that was enough to make it until lunch, at the very least. This woman now, my friend until that morning, that got up as I sat down next to her, who looked me in the eyes and was suddenly disgusted that I may have touched her arm emailed me tonight. Just now. And here it is:
Date: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 3:44 PM
I hope this note finds you well. It has been a long time since I have seen you. I was looking through some old pics the other weekend and ran across some from our sophomore trip together. It reminded me of what great times we had together. I am pretty sure the first time I skipped school it was with you. Anyway, I really turned out to be a super shitty person the last couple years of high school.
I wanted to take a moment to apologize for my behavior and ignorance. Most of all for being so judgmental and saying hateful things. I hope you are happy, I get updates from xxxxxx now and again, and she says you are doing well. I am sorry it has taken me this long to write you. I assure you I have thought many times about reaching out to you, but worried that it was unwelcome. It may still be unwelcome, but I did want to thank you for being a great friend, and tell you I am sorry I didn’t turn out to be one for you.
So, in conclusion, I am a true believer, and very happy to quote Cher when I add that I am Living Proof, that this is no joke, folks:
It Gets Better. I promise.
Thank you, Joanne, for your apology and for your kindness. These things can never come too late. And for the needed nudge to write this post.
This video requires a warning: Not only does Cher look even more remarkably fabulous than she always does, but she is incredibly playful and adorable and kitten-cute to a breaking point in this video that may be too much for some, myself included, which is why I am watching it over and over. I am warning this mostly for those of you in the office right now so that you will be prepared for your uncontrollable oohing and awing while clapping your hand profusely like a little kid who all of a sudden hears the ice cream truck coming.
This song was not chosen randomly. You dig?
Happy Friday-eve, y’all! Happy Cherday!
Oh! Am I pissed. Ugly mad.
Ready for the headline? Here you go:
Here’s the story, in (as) short (as I am capable): A high school in another Smallmindednowhereville, this time in Mississippi has prom coming up, like all schools do. A girl at this high school invites a person to go to the prom with her, like all kids that want a date for prom do. The girl invites a girl to be her date, because that is who she wants to go with her, just as we all hope to attend functions with someone we would like to be around. And then Smallmindednowhereville MS school freaks out at how ephing gay it would be if two girls went to prom together.
AND SO INSTEAD of sucking it up and keeping their personal(ly fucked up) beliefs to themselves, just like we all do when we personally don’t like something but that doesn’t matter because it is a free country, even if it is some guy picking his nose in front of everyone on the bus THAT IS HIS RIGHT. Personally, I think that is gross- BUT WHO AM I? (Please do not mistake this last example as a reasonable comparison to lesbians at prom, I was just trying to come up with something that might offend me in some way, and I’m not a homophobe so, I had to go the booger route.) SO INSTEAD of being reasonable and legally sound and humane and not a total bigoted prick about it, what does the school decide to do? Oh, you know, they decided to just CANCEL PROM. FOR EVERYONE.
At first the school warned Constance McMillen (that’s the lesbian-heroine’s name) that she was not allowed to go to the prom. They said that if the girls showed up at all, in any way shape or form, that they would ask her lesbo-ass and her lesbo-ass date to leave. But clearly someone on the school board woke up in the middle of the night, probably because he had to pee or something, when it dawned on him that they could be even more malicious and homophobic and hateful and instead of just violating the rights of this girl they could piss off the whole school by canceling what some kids think is the only good thing that ever happens in high school so that maybe every single person in that whole school will hate this girl for ruining what was going to be the best night of their life! Brilliant, you fuck! Just brilliant.
Here’s where the story starts to get better. Here’s where the ACLU steps in and says, in much more legally appropriate terms, “THE FUCK YOU WILL.”
So, yes, the ACLU is on it and they are a force to be reckoned with (and a non-profit so donate to them) but if you are even kind of sort of half as angry as me and have just had it with this I-hate-gays-and-somehow-attempt-to-get-away-with-acting-hateful-towards-them and just want to do something or say something, well, I’ve got something for you!
Here is a list of all of the bigoted assholes in charge of the decision not to have prom at all who also double as the school board, the superintendent and the principal. Please feel free to email and call them as much as you wish. You are a free agent, but I warn only this: the more rash and intelligent you sound, the farther your argument will carry. Basically, try not to sound as crazy as the bigots. That is all. Have at ‘em!
Teresa McNeece — superintendent
phone (662)862-2159 Ext. 14
The school board:
And our dear bigoted principal, the lovely Principal Trae Wiygul
11900 Hwy 25 S
Fulton, MS 38843
Oh, and Happy Friday-eve, everyone. Let us not forget the things that matter, Happy Cherday!
The Lezzy’s are over. (Finally!) I was a finalist in two categories and still can’t figure out how that was rigged. I didn’t take the cake in either but really? Of course not. Did you see the real blogs that I was up against? Finding out I was in the final few made me feel like that little shrimpy guy that makes the cut because my dad is the business sponsor for the team uniforms or something. Only he’s not. And don’t get me wrong, I’ll take it and I ran with it. But, like I said, it was a bit surprising to be in the company of the Lezzy contenders and winners. And a big congratulations to all of them. They are all lezzy-worthy and I am flattered to have been in their company by any means.
Ok, so, good for the winners, ya ya, blah, blah. Happy happy, they deserve it, moving on… Here’s the important part: THANK YOU. Ya, you. Everyone from that one lost fellow looking for hot naked pictures of Jennifer Beals that got directed here accidentally to the “blazerwest folk,” of my blog, which is just my own blog-code-name for all of you that keep showing up here, day after day. Because when you do my day gets better and when you don’t I wonder and maybe after a while, I might even worry (and then I find your twitter account and tweet you a personal tweet to make sure you’re ok and you always are and then I’m like, right, ok then, this is awkward, see you around.) You all know who you are.
My life is my life and I could write about it or not, but I keep doing so here because y’all are good company and fun to hang out with. So, here’s to you. Here’s to us. Thanks for voting and clearly all of you will all need to come up with twice as many false email accounts next year and vote a whole lot more. Until then, mush mush, love love, you know I adore you (minus the creepy guy here for naked pictures of Jennifer Beals) now get over yourself, this is about me.
Happy Friday-eve, everyone! Happy Cherday!
This is one of my favorite Cher songs to just get up and dance around to like a fool, and I’ve been saving it. And right now it’s perfect, and just for you…
(there is a 7 second delay, be patient… it’s worth it.)
For today’s Cherday post I am going to answer six of the most frequently emailed, commented and tweeted questions that I get about the Goddess of All Things Fabulous and Sparkly. Ready?
1. What is Cher’s full name? Well, it’s Cher. But she was born with the name Cherilyn Sarkisian.
2. What is your favorite Cher song? That depends on the day really. I never ever get tired of her cover of Walking in Memphis and of course, there is that one song, that I am a tad partial to, you know the one.
3. Do other lesbians (namely Violet) think it odd that you are obsessed with Cher? I wouldn’t describe it as obsessed so much as having a deep appreciation for the finer things. And yes, a few folks find my endless and always current knowledge of Cher a bit surprising, I guess. I remember Violet literally taking a step back when she realized I wasn’t kidding about this Cher business. I know she doesn’t feel the same way about her but she loves me enough that she has never said anything negative about Cher and just let’s me go on with my Cher-loving ways.
4. What is your favorite thing about Cher? Easy. That she is so freaking Cher. Everything she does is just so godamn Cher. And all of it, no matter what, who, where, why, when or how, she does so with no apology.
5. Do you seriously think Cher hasn’t had plastic surgery? I get this one a lot. I’ve never said either way. But, here’s the thing, WHO CARES! I’ve written about this before, but I am with Cher when she says, “If I want to put my tits on my back it’s nobody’s business but my own!” Exactly, Cher. Exactly. I think it is just the dumbest, most boring, anti-feminist thing in the world to think you have the right to decide for, attempt to dictate, point fingers or judge another woman for the decisions and choices she makes for herself and her body. Really, come on, there is more than enough judgment, endless condemning, policing and insanely impossible expectations and rules towards/for/of/on women that are so absolutely (and intentionally) unattainable in this world. And I refuse to participate. So long as Cher feels fabulous, she is fabulous.
6. What do you think about this Chastity/Chaz business and what do you think Cher thinks? I am excited for Chaz. I am also excited that he seems so willing to talk about his situation and his personal (private) experiences. It is dangerous, of course, to put one face to an entire population (hi Ellen!) but it happens and he seems like a good guy to be publically speaking about transgendered issues. I know Cher flipped a lid when Chaz (then Chastity) came out to her mom as a lesbian. I’m talking about lamps flying through windows-flipped out. But Cher said she was so upset about Chastity coming out because she didn’t want to watch the media be mean to her child, not because she was a lesbian. So, I don’t know what Cher thinks about Chaz transitioning but publicly she has been all support and I think that is perfect.
There we have it folks. Feel free to keep asking me questions about Cher, share with me what you know about Cher and most importantly, have a fabulous CherThursday!
Happy Friday-eve, everyone. Happy Cherday!
Way, way back in December I posted a desperate plea for help. I had NO idea what to get Violet for Christmas and in my sad public begging a whole lot of you kind folk offered your help. All of the ideas were nothing short of brilliant and I hope very much that you all use these talents for good by spoiling the world around you with your romantic, artistic endeavors and in return are rewarded generously (I’m winking profusely right now, if you can catch such a subtle drift…)
So, one of the collaborators in my final gift idea for Violet came from a fabulous reader by the name of Amber. I had little collateral and offered in return either a Cherday shoutout or an object of your choice balanced on the Seal’s head. Amber went with Cher. The Seal is sleeping off her rejection with an extra mid-day nap.
Amber asked for the Shoop Shoop song and the Shoop Shoop song she shall get! I encourage any and all of you to get up and clear large objects out of your way as you prepare to dance. (And remember, if you are able to listen to Cher without a sudden impulse to make the world a better place- something is very, very wrong with you.)
Happy Friday-eve, everyone! Happy Cherday!
Every now and then I check the background going ons of this little blog. My favorite thing to check is the web searches that folks type in that land them here (it doesn’t show WHO, just WHAT was searched, calm down.) Some are fairly obvious, some are pretty random and a few, to me anyway, are quite entertaining. My very favorite search of all time was just a few days ago, that read, “If I Could Learn To Rhyme, by Cher.” That one took me a second, but what they meant was, “If I Could Turn Back Time, by Cher.”
I don’t know how or why but a very frequent search is “jesse james the faggot” or “jesse james is gay.” I mean, yes, yes I am, but that is a bit of a strange pathway to get here.
I am very happy that, as of late, if you google “why do they call me gay” out of 50 million and some hits, my post on this question is the top result. I am relieved because when folks were searching that phrase online and somehow found this blog before I wrote about it I decided to google that exact phrase just to see what would come up. I wrongly hoped and assumed I’d find resources and legitimate information. What I found was the first several top results were so horrible and attempted to confirm all of the awful, nasty, ignorant, hateful things that can be used to answer that question. It was alarming really. So for now, ha! lesbian faggot blogger gets the first crack at answering that one!
And around graduation time plenty of folks land on this one.
A few searches recently that I know must have really led folks astray were: “naughty lesbians” “caught with a woody” “pee on me.” Sorry about that guys, but this blog is fairly pg-13 minus my inability to refrain from swearing.
How in the world “Somebody’s gotta pay for the fog and the dancing fairies” is searched as often as it is, I’ll never know, but that entire phrase has come up more than 6 times in the last month. Every time anyone searches anything Cher and lands here makes me smile.
Do I have any point at all to this post? No. I just wanted to type and link “If I Could Learn To Rhyme, by Cher.” I have been singing it in my head like that for days and my guess is, you might now too.
Happy Friday-eve, everyone! Happy Cherday.