The gay interview: Gina Gershon

With Magic Mike still in theaters, there’s been a fair amount of talk lately about Gina Gershon, who starred in the female version, Showgirls, nearly two decades ago. She sat down with our Chris Azzopardi to discuss her crotch close-up in the new Killer Joe (it opens tomorrow at the Angelika Dallas) and how it’s cool to play gay now.

The showgirl must go on

Vagina. That’s the first thing to come up during my recent interview with Gina Gershon, who goes full-frontal as Sharla in the awesomely twisted Killer Joe.

The actress plays a trashy two-timer who gets caught in the middle of a family’s murder plot when they hire a hit man (Matthew McConaughey) to take out their mother to collect the life insurance money. Just minutes into the movie, and there she is — all of her.

We got Gershon on the phone to chat about her crotch coat, the agent that almost stopped her from playing a lesbian in one of her most lady-loved films and why she really wishes she were gay.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Sunny and sharing: Chaz Bono is a new man

Transitions

Transition by Chaz Bono (with Billie Fitzpatrick), (2011, Dutton), $26; 245 pp.

The face in the mirror is instantly recognizable: The chin, the eyes that droop when fatigued, the mouth that’s etched parentheses around itself. The hair, they eyes, the nose. But what the little girl America knew as Chastity Bono saw on the outside was not what she felt inside.

In Transition, the biological daughter of pop icons Sonny and Cher explains what it’s like to feel like you’re in the wrong body, and how a tiny Hollywood darling went from daughter to son.

On the wall of his home, Chaz Bono has a picture of himself and his parents, taken when he was a toddler. They all look happy, though Chaz says he doesn’t remember the day it was  taken —or much else of his childhood, for that matter. What he does remember is that he always felt like a boy.

As a kid, he dressed in boy duds as often as possible and answered to a male nickname. He played with boys at school, including his best friend. Nobody thought much about it, he says — that’s just how it was.

Puberty was rough; eventually, Bono came out as lesbian, but something still wasn’t quite right. He didn’t identify with women, gay or otherwise, and distant feelings of masculinity colored his relationships with them and with his family. Still, he lived his life as a woman: falling in love, starting a band, buying a house and trying to stay out of the public eye.

Bono’s father seemed supportive of his lesbianism; his mother had trouble with it.  Happiness eluded Bono so he turned to drugs to cope with the frustration. By then, though, he thought he knew what he needed to do.

On March 20, 2009, he “drove myself to the doctor’s office… I felt only confident that what I was doing was right. … After all the years of fear, ambivalence, doubts and emotional torture, the day had finally come. I was on testosterone, and I have never looked back — not once.”

Chaz says he was never very good at transitions, though he did a pretty good job at this one (with a few bumps along the way).

Transition is filled with angst, anger, sadness and pain, but topped off with wonderment and joy. It’s also repetitious, contains a few delicately squirmy moments, and its occasional bogginess is a challenge for wandering minds.

For wondering minds, however, Chaz is quick to defend and explain away his family’s reluctance to accept his gender reassignment, but he’s also willing to admit to being hurt by it. Still, contentment and awe shine forth at the end of this book, and readers will breathe a sigh of relief for it.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 27, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Fahari Arts Institute tells the Bull Jeans story

Fahari introduces you to Miss Bull Jeans

Harold J. Steward directs Q-Roc Ragsdale in this one-woman multi-media show about Bull Jeans and her life in the rural South of the 1920s. Her story of survival, love and lesbianism is told in the bull-jean stories based on the book by Sharon Bridgforth.

DEETS: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. 8 p.m. Sunday at 3 p.m. $15. Q-Roc.tv/Bull-Jean.

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 10.08.10

Friday 10.15

No need to ask where the beef is
Burgers and beer is a primo combination, but with wine, it’s a step up. Especially if they are made by 11 local celebrity chefs, then it could just be heaven. The second annual Burgers & Burgundy hosted by Chef John Tesar puts it all together for your pleasure while raising funds for DIFFA. Who said eating burgers could ever be bad for you?

DEETS: The House in Victory Park, 2200 Victory Ave. 6 p.m. $75. DiffaDallas.org.

……………………………….

Saturday 10.16

Never cross a gay vampire at bingo
The last thing you want to do is piss off Miss True Blood by yelling “bingo” before her. The last thing you need is a big bite mark on your neck before it’s truly scarf season. Put on your fangs, widow’s peaks and capes for this month’s GayBingo Vampire. Just watch out for those real ones blending in. Garlic should keep you safe — alone, but safe.

DEETS: The Rose Room (inside Station 4), 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 5 p.m. $25. RCDallas.org.

……………………………….

Sunday 10.17

Fahari introduces Miss Bull Jeans
Harold J. Steward directs Q-Roc Ragsdale in this one-woman multi-media show about Bull Jeans and her life in the rural South of the 1920s. Her story of survival, love and lesbianism is told in the bull-jean stories based on the book by Sharon Bridgforth.

DEETS: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. 3 p.m. $15. Q-Roc.tv/Bull-Jean.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Lesbians on the lam, but not a perfect love story

I was looking through LGBT-related news from around the Internet on Wednesday morning when this headline from the New Zealand news site TVNX caught my attention: “Indonesian lesbian frees underage lover.”

My imagination immediately conjured up images of the lesbian Butch and Sundance, the teenage Thelma and Louise, only with a happier ending. We all like to root for the underdogs, and I immediately started envisioning these two young lesbians on the run, so much in love they were willing to risk it all to be together. I imagined LGBT groups from around the world banding together to spirit them away from the oppressive anti-gay forces that would keep them apart, to a place of freedom.

Then I read the story.

Here are the basics: a 15-year-old Indonesian girl identified as Tn had been placed, by her father, in protective custody with the National Commission for Child Protection in East Jakarta. The father wanted to “cure” his daughter of her homosexuality. Then the girl’s lover, a 26-year-old taekwondo teacher identified as Sj, showed up and busted the teenager out of protective custody, and the two went on the lam.

The story points out that the jailbreak happened on Sept. 17, “the first day of the Islamic Eid ul Fitri celebrations.” I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up and discovered that it was the festival celebrating the end of the 30 days of dawn-to-dusk fasting that takes place during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. I am not sure why that info was included.

The story says police are investigating.

Needless to say, the facts of the story quickly put to rest my “lesbian lovers on the run” romantic movie ideas. I mean the “cruel father who imprisons his daughter to ‘cure’ her lesbianism” would be an integral part of the plot of such a movie. But I really don’t find anything romantic about a 26-year-old dating a 15-year-old, regardless of the genders involved.

—  admin

A Treatment for Lesbianism?

A prenatal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia in newborns could reduce the chance that the baby will be lesbian.
Daily News

—  John Wright