Tag Archives: Ellen Degeneres

Why Does Taylor Swift Act That Way?

23 Sep

After doing a lot of Taylor Swift research in general, and Kaylor factoids, I was thing about Taylor’s possible feelings and motivations.  The underlined are topics that came to mind, and I want you to read it bearing in mind things that go on in the Swift-verse (I tried to made up a word for Taylor Swift’s world, and I’m not sure it worked out).  The following is laying the groundwork for what’s happening with Kaylor and why.

 

Being in the closet:

fear of getting caught

fear of other’s people’s reactions

fear of losing important people in your life

fear of career setbacks

fear of being bashed

fear of who you become when you give up being (thought of as) straight

sadness at not fulfilling (heteronormative) expectations

sadness at not having an easy love/life

sadness at missing out

sadness about being the odd man out with friends and society at large

not being sexual at all-as a way to avoid it

being “too busy” for dating/love-so that people stop asking

being ultra-private-to signal others not to ask about it

feeling defensive

feelings of persecution

feelings of being alone, the only one

feelings of not being supported

forcing straight relationships (then feeling detached from them)

dating the opposite sex, but it’s weird/not what you had thought

internal homophobia

using homophobic language–so others won’t suspect

acting more straight

having very close same sex friendships

having confusing feelings regarding friends

being confused about boundaries

talking about the opposite sex to throw others off

staying away from ‘out’ queer people (guilty by association)

planning ahead-to avoid awkward topics, situations, or damning evidence

anger at having to hide

anger that life is harder for LGBT members

anger at a small dating pool

anger at homophobes

anger at people that “tolerate” gays

being hyper-aware of pronouns and manipulating them

language with a double-meaning

using wardrobe, jewelry, color to signal other gays, but stay hidden from everyone else

swearing others to secret

threatening same sex partners not to let on

not acting couply in public

saying your lover is just a friend

coming out to certain, trusted people, but not large groups, or known homophobes

 

Not knowing Taylor Swift personally, but being alive in the world, I think she may experience some of these feelings.  Lyrics, interviews, dates, and persona could maybe relate to a lot or most of these.  You can’t rush a person’s timeline.  Taylor has to come out when she’s ready (or if she is ever ready at all). 

A lot of these are truly founded worries the LGBT individuals have about making known their ‘difference.’  The list above comes about with politics, language, expectations, seeing openly gay people struggle.  This stuff doesn’t just come out of nowhere.  For example, Ellen Degeneres is an ‘it’ gal today sure.  But she lost everything when she came out–and for a long time afterwards. 

Instead of taking that trajectory as  ‘it’ll work out, come out– see how good Ellen is doing?  I think it should be a cautionary tale.  It was scary and even today I would characterize Ellen as a reluctant gay icon.  She came out for personal reasons, so she could live authentically.  I And when that happened she lost everyone.  Except a small group of LGBTQQA.  She didn’t wanna play to only gay crowds.  Didn’t ask to represent a whole population.  She was thrust in that role because of how big a deal her coming out was at the time.  But that other stuff wasn’t a choice she made–she played to exclusively gay crowds because suddenly, no one else would see her.  She was boycotted.  Ellen was cancelled.  People see her current success and forget all of that.  She didn’t even really mention her gayness at all in the beginning of her talk show.  She had to sort of play it straight again to get the status she has attained.  She finagled her way back into the mainstream. 

There are many more examples of people cut down after coming out.  So if Taylor is planning to come out (which I greedily hope she does, b/c it would make me personally very happy) I think she’s right to be cautious and do it carefully.  I would not want to see people throw her away, especially in the world of music where women are treated as a dime a dozen, totally replaceable by the next pretty blonde.

 

Gay-Dar

Because of all the closeted tactics, gays automatically learn to identify “family” and there is a knowing wink and nod, exchanged.  I think to some extent most gay people (and some straight) have honed their gay-dar.  It’s a practiced skill based on signals, non-verbal cues, and some stereotypes.  My feeling is that gays from conservative or churchy backgrounds are especially good at it, because the rural gays have to be more secret and underground.  

Does Taylor Swift’s Easter eggs relate to this?  I think so!

On the pod-cast I was listening to, they asked if Ellen Degeneres know Taylor Swift.  My feeling:  absolutely.  You can sense the two have a rapport.  Think of the episode when Ellen asked Taylor who she’s dating in kind of a knowing and cheeky tone.  And Taylor said, “My publicist told me not to answer that.”  I think Ellen knew what was up.  And whether or not Ellen has been told explicitly, I think she’s clever (and experienced enough) to know the signs when she sees them.

 

bearding

I’m not going to get into this as much, because it’s not really in my personal experience, but bearding is a good way to remain in the closet.  Because if you’re dating the opposite sex you obviously can’t be gay-says the public at large.  

This one speaks for itself.  And is the subject of so many theories in Kaylor.

 

Heteronormative/heterosexist

This is the societal attitude that everyone is straight until proven gay.  And when I say proven, I mean you won’t accept subtle signs, or obvious scenarios–it has to come from that person’s mouth.  The only other way is actually seeing sex.  This mentality is pervasive.  It’s just assumed all little girls dream of their big wedding day with whatever groom chooses them.  Guys are assigned the role of going out and chasing women for sex.  From infants when everyone is so curious about gender, roles are assigned to the sexes, and LGBT has no part in that.  It’s placed on everyone, and if that’s not who you are, it’s your responsibility to ‘come out of the closet’ as not straight.

I feel like 95% of Taylor Swift’s fans believe she’s straight.  They see long hair.  A feminine-looking gal, narratives of dating men.  Even when evidence to the contrary is presented, most fans refuse to believe she might be romantic toward women (too).  And they get angry at Kaylors for “pushing a narrative” when all Kaylors are doing is reading clues that Taylor Swift, herself, has placed.  Kaylors are hunting just like all Swifties, in the way that Taylor has asked and expected us to do.  I think some people, no matter what evidence was presented, would refuse to take stock in that.  Because of heterosexism, homophobia, or ignorance.  A lot of straight people don’t know that they know a gay.  Therefore, they don’t know what characteristics go with that.  Or they might have only experience with the most ‘out’ gays.  Which are only one type of gay.  To be fair, not a bunch of gays have come out, so people don’t realize the LGBT is diverse and there are all types, not just the super-flamboyant and stone-butch that are unable to hide, and are obviously gay.

 

OK, so there I think is a good foundation to see Taylor’s motivations and how it could possibly substantiate the Kaylor theories.

Critique of “Unbearable Lightness”

12 Feb

I didn’t want to like this book.  I did not really know anything about Portia De Rossi (PdR) except she came out of seemingly nowhere to become Ellen Degeneres’ wife, then upon looking her up on Google, seeing she had played a few bit roles as a sorostitute-type.  I knew nothing else.  When I found out PdR had been on “Allie McBeal” and that she was one of the actresses with an evident, yet unacknowledged eating-disorder, I felt disdain for her.  That show, with it’s unattainable images of what a women is supposed to look like, did a lot of damage to impressionable females.  But many times, I’ll watch a documentary or read a biography of someone not very likeable and come away with understanding, sympathy, and sometimes even a changed opinion about them.  So I bought the book and gave PdR a chance to redeem herself.

Details are given about how PdR loses and maintains her low weight. This is problematic because it gives women ideas of how to diet, starve, binge, and purge. Also, the details devulged are talked about as if they’re completely normal line of thought and activity. There is no sense that what PdR is disordered, which normalizes the events to the reader.

This book made me disappointed in L’Oreal.  Throughout the book (through the lens of anorexia) they are seen as uncaring, unsympathetic, and uncompromising of the type of women they portray.  The company made PdR feel fat and ugly and immoral, with its horrible fitting of small gray dresses, it’s fancy meetings at the Four Seasons, and the morality clause in the contract.  PdR showed that despite their slogan of “I’m worth it” they are implicitly sending the message that only a narrow category of women (slim and straight to start with) actually ARE worth it.

I thought the L’Oreal stuff in the book should have been accompanied by details about “Allie McBeal’s” culture of eating disorders or left out all-together.  L’Oreal was villanized (rightly so it sounds like) while the issue of competition between actresses was carefully skirted.  PdR is VERY careful not to mention the other celebrities on the set with evident eating disorders that must have furthered her own eating issues.  If L’Oreal is fair game, why shouldn’t Callista Flockhart get mention?

I absolutely loved that with the doctor’s bad news of all the internal damage done by starving, pictures were shown of what she looked like at the time.  It sent the implicit message that though Hollywood, and the world at large demanded thinness, and it may be misconstrued as beautiful, it came with consequences.  It was very dramatic.  My favorite part of the book by far.

Somehow more weight (pun intended) was given to Ellen Degeneres, who barely appears in the book, then to PdR’s sexuality, though the homosexuality is said to be the root of the problem.  The fear of exposure, repression, desire of women, and her mom’s “acceptance” of her were only briefly mentioned.  I think she could have done more with those themes.  Yes, the book’s focus was the eating disorder, but I thought the lesbianism should have been dramatized more.

And I did not like the “Ellen saved my life” stuff.  Firstly, PdR doesn’t give herself credit for her recovery at all.  Can it be called recovery then?  It makes me wonder how far she’s actually come.  PdR thought of Ellen as some sort of hero throughout the book–from the time she was young.  I don’t really think their relationship could be balanced or equal because of that. Reading other reviews of the book, or even descriptions, I noticed how Ellen is mentioned in all of them.  Though she didn’t even know PdR during her seriously disordered eating phase, and really isn’t IN the book.  PdR will forever just be Ellen’s wife and submissive/passive/arm-candy.  Her third name-change says it all.  First PdR changed her name for Hollywood and this book details the fall-out of her trying to adhere to Hollywood’s idealized images of beauty.  Now she has changed her name for her wife.  Doesn’t this women know who SHE wants to be?  The end of the book just shows how the situation for PdR’s self-esteem hasn’t changed–just the focus.

And of course, I absolutely did NOT like how PdR ignorantly berates the dairy and meat industries at the end of the book.  She uses PETA-type jargon as if it’s the factual truth, saying that farm animals are treated inhumanely, and not healthy for human consumption anyway.  I wish celebrities would keep their mouths shut if they can’t share actual information.  It was an aside that wasn’t needed and was very judgmental in its pro-animal rights stance.  How hypocritical for a heavy smoker to be disdainful of the ill-effects of milk and meat!  Smoking and how she wanted to do it all the time, or was taking drags everywhere, is a large component of the book.  The restrictive diet actually reveals how she must still struggle with her food, too.  It takes a lot of discipline and effort to cut out entire food groups from your diet as she currently is being vegan(?)/vegetarian (?).

Though I had some problems with the book, and still don’t really like PdR, it WAS a riviting read.  I only half believe PdR wrote the book by herself, because the image she has cultivated for herself (or that the media has cultivated for her) is not observant, smart, wry, or perfectionist.  The language in the book was so advanced and varied–I was impressed!  Either way, I found myself putting aside my homework and tearing through the prose in just 3 days–while working nine hour days and attending class.  Well done, on such a page-turner.

 

Through Rose Colored Glasses

27 Oct

 

 

I used to watch the Roseanne show (who didn’t?) but never knew what a feminist she was.  What I knew was that America was ready for a more realistic portrayal of family.  Roseanne showed a blue collar working family, complete with harried mother, non-perfect children, and plenty of drama.  It was ground-breaking because it was real.  No one was rich.  Everyone worked–and they actually showed them toiling.  The kids could be brats.

I even realized later that the first lesbian kiss shown on television was not on Ellen’s famous Puppy Episode–it was on Roseanne!  Though, I thought the impact was tinged with a little negativity because creepy-coked-out Tom Arnold, co-producer and Roseanne’s husband at the time, probably just wanted to get his rocks off.  At any rate, it was a real step.

http://nymag.com/arts/tv/upfronts/2011/roseanne-barr-2011-5/

Whoever wrote the above article did just a fantastic job of humanizing AND dare I say it, making Roseanne Barr likable.  With her big body and big opinions–this is no small feat.  She had some pretty bad behavior back in the day.  Bad choices, bad language and quotes, and bad press.  But I really came away from the piece with respect for the gal.  It’s easy to forget that any steps women have made in Hollywood are hard-fought.  But I’m glad Roseanne scratched and clawed as she did to get the show on the air, keep it female-positive, and show legit women.

Brandi Carlile is Too Late!

7 Oct

Last night I went to the Knitting Factory to see Brandi Carlile for the first time.  This experience was completely different from the Minus the Bear (also hailing from Seattle) concert.  I would NOT have purchased the tickets on a weeknight if I had known Brandi and her band would not step on to the stage until 9:30 PM.  When you have to work on your feet all day Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM, even 9:00 PM feels late.  But I did, b/c the tickets said the doors opened at 6:30 PM.

Did they open earlier for everyone else?  I felt like my mate and I were at the front of the line, but when Knitting Factory staff let us in (at 6:50! gerrr) the bar tables were full.  But that was OK because the venue had wisely allotted the upstairs for 21 and over.  Never-mind, somehow, ALL the tables and chairs were already packed.  It was a total bummer, and I was immediately sad I went early if I was going to have to stand anyway. . .

How many tickets does the Knitting Factory sell?  It seemed beyond capacity to me.  People were pretty much in every available space:  On the stairs, around the bars, standing in front of the doors.  I couldn’t help but to think of the book I just finished, “Triangle:  The Fire that Changed America” about the 140 people who perished in a fire because they did not have appropriate exits.  So we stayed on the ground floor for the most part–near the door.  We did manage to find “seats” on the inch and a half railing between the bar and dance floor area.  This was comfortable for 0.2 seconds only, and we abandoned the spot knowing we would lose it in favor of buying some beer.

Knitting Factory–who do you think you are with your beer prices?  $13.03 for two plastic cups of beer???  Really?!  We drank ours as the first opener played–at 7:30 PM.  After an hour of nothing.  Standing up.  By the way, when did bands start having TWO openers?  Brandi mentioned she had opted to share the night with Justin Towne Earle because of some snaffu.  I’m not sure if the venue double-booked, or if his venue shut down, or if the timing was off or what, but I thought it was gracious of her.  But this Justin Townes Earl really took advantage of her kindness.  Instead of realizing they had to SHARE the time, he just went ahead and played an entire long set.  So the night should have been ending before she ever took the stage–it was really rude.  And neither the true opener, nor his thing really resonated with me this time, but they weren’t terrible or anything.  He just busted the time-table.

When Brandi and her band came on it was already past my bedtime.  She looked really cute and is the ONLY person that can pull off a vest–this includes Ellen DeGeneres.  Anyway, I can see why the Indigo Girls love Brandi Carlile–she is a powerful singer, her songs are catchy and personal, she’s a top-notch performer, and she already has a devoted fan-base, even though she’s just now working on her fourth CD.  A lot of the people around me had seen her in concert 5-7 times, and two girls even flew in from CA to take in another show.  The crowd went absolutely wild when Brandi and her band jammed out to Johnny Cash!  They looked to be having so much fun that how could the crowd NOT be into it?

It HAS to be mentioned that we encountered about the douchiest group of people possible.  When we were scouting out seats, these people were using their stools to hold their coats as they stood.  Then, later these same (belligerently drunk) old people shoved through the people that had stood at the front of the dance floor for two hours to secure their good places.  Then, they proceed to couple-dance in the tight area, pushing everyone around, and generally taking up more then their share of space.  Then, these people pretty much edged out everyone around them, all the while giving the stink eye at anyone who looked annoyed by their shenanigans (me).  I would have thrown an elbow or two if I didn’t think it would lead to an actual fist fight.  That sort of put a damper on the spirit of the show. . .

Set List

9:30 PM

Dreams
Closer/Falling
What Can I Say
Folsom
Heart Young
Promise

–>10:40 PM (left for bed)
Raise Hell
Before it Breaks
Turpentine
Story
Pride & Joy
Me

autographing for the crowd *please say it ain’t so!*

Unfortunately, I left after the second new song, because it was 10:40 PM and I knew I would pay for it in the morning.  So I left feeling a little regretful, but hoping to see Brandi–either earlier or on an eve of a day off–soon.  Maybe CoMo or Reno. . .

And of course this would be the time Brandi walks through the crowed talking and giving autographs–because I had to leave early to get ready to do surgeries the next morning!  I blame the stupid Knitting Factory, because they’re a terrible venue who can’t get their shit together.  I also blame Justin Townes Earl for not shortening his set when he shouldn’t have even been there.  And I blame Brandi for being too nice.  I am so disappointed.  That was probably my only chance to meet Brandi Carlile!!!

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Disturbing

5 Aug

Last night I had a dream my parents walked in us having sex, and though they didn’t realize they had interrupted anything because I was under the covers, I was very embarrassed.

Then, in a different dream, I was in some sort of classroom, and Ellen Degeneres outed me.  I was only slightly annoyed, but a little embarrassed too.