From Billie Holiday biopic news to Batwoman’s return to Drew Barrymore flirting on her talk show, we’ve got the Good and Gay news you crave! This week—and the start of 2021—haven’t exactly been the change from 2020 so many of us hoped for, but there are still good, gay things happening in the world.
Here’s to you, reader, and to sharing more good and gay news every week!
The United States vs. Billie Holiday trailer appears
Bisexual Black icon Billie Holiday, portrayed by Andra Day, is irresistible and defiant in the new biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday. The trailer arrived earlier this week and shows the singer and star struggling with addition, racism, and the federal government. Notably, the film also portrays Holiday’s queerness. In the trailer, she appears kissing lover Tallulah Bankhead, played by the iconic Natasha Lyonne; as well as flirting with other male characters. We are so excited for this powerful new film.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday streams on Hulu on February 26.
Welcome to Chechnya Director discusses filming and impact of documentary
In his powerful documentary, director David France follows queer people as they hide and then flee from anti-gay purges in Chechnya. Recently, France opened up about his experience capturing the shocking footage that appears, including the story of a young lesbian whose sexuality all but guarantees she’ll be murdered. It’s certainly a grim film, but it is important that the film is being made—and knowing the lengths that the director went to protect the identities of his subjects while making sure these human rights violations aren’t overlooked is inspiring.
“Even after those early news stories, nobody had come to their rescue or their defense. That’s when I thought I needed to go and find out what it was like to be operating with no net whatsoever. How could it be possible that they were left to do this work alone? It felt like something that I had read in history books about Europe in the ’20s and ’30s, and yet it was happening today — this underground railroad hiding people who are being hunted, at great risk. I wanted to find some way to safely bring the story out to the world,” France told The Hollywood Reporter.
Welcome to Chechnya is available to stream on HBO Max.
Spelman College announces first HBCU queer studies chair in Audre Lorde’s name
Earlier this week, Spelman College announced that it has raised funds to create the first-ever queer studies chair at a historically Black college or university. The kicker? The chair will be named for poet, feminist, and lesbian icon Audre Lorde. Funding for the position was predominantly provided by philanthropist Jon Stryker, with some matched fundraising. As reported by The Root, a release from Spelman stated:
Named after poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, the Queer Studies chair was announced to much fanfare. Lorde was selected by Stryker as the chair’s namesake for her groundbreaking and life-long commitment to civil rights and progressive social change. She had a strong connection to Spelman, speaking on campus on several occasions and donating her personal papers and other artifacts in 1995 to the Spelman Archives, a part of the College’s Women’s Research and Resource Center. The Audre Lorde Papers have been open to scholars since 2009 following a grant from the Arcus Foundation, founded by Stryker, which enabled the papers to be processed and displayed for students, faculty and researchers from around the world.
Batwoman returns this week with Javicia Leslie in the cowl
The much-anticipated return of CW’s Batwoman approaches! Javicia Leslie will be playing the new Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, in Season 2. “I think [audiences are] going to love the character,” Leslie tells The New York Post. “Ryan is a very relatable character, and I look forward to fans seeing themselves in her. I want her to show everybody that anyone can be a superhero.” Well, we can’t wait to meet Leslie’s Batwoman!
Batwoman Season 2 returns to CW January 17.
Drew Barrymore and Jane Krakowski flirt on The Drew Barrymore Show
Bisexual actor and morning talk show host Drew Barrymore recently had Jane Krakowski on her show. According to Vulture, before recording Barrymore told her wardrobe team to “dress [her] like something bisexual will happen today.” And, then it did. Krakowski appeared onscreen in a plunging neckline and the two proceeded to flirt while Barrymore tripped over herself. It was an adorable moment that we hope sets a precedent for Barrymore flirting with more of her guests!The Drew Barrymore Show airs on CBS on weekday mornings.