I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress

The iconic Amy Winehouse performing “Valerie.”  Swoon.


Sublimefemme Tells All, No. 33

The key to successful gardening is herbaceous perennials.  Pink stilettos optional.

Elizabeth Taylor: In Memoriam

I wrote this post to honor the legendary Liz Taylor, my femme style icon.

I think the first time I “got” femme was when I saw Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   Looking drop-dead gorgeous in her clingy slip, Maggie fights with Brick about their living arrangements and hisses, “I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage that’s all!”   Me-YOW!   La Liz could deliver a line like nobody’s business.

When I was in my twenties I couldn’t imagine ever being as sexy and femme as Elizabeth Taylor–or even on the same planet as her.  (If Kitty Kelley is right that ET is “the last star,” then actually no one is on the same planet as Liz.)   Watching her old films, I was intrigued by her seductive combination of vulnerability and strength–and those legendary violet eyes. (I want violet eyes!!!)   Taylor is iconic for me not only because of her beauty and style, but also because of her resilience and willingness to admit her imperfections. My favorite Elizabeth Taylor quote? “The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.”

Without a doubt, the actress’s most inspiring virtue was her passionate AIDS advocacy, which began in the early days of the pandemic when public figures (including President Reagan) failed to speak out or act to help people who were infected and desperately needed treatments.  (Actually, Reagan did ultimately give one speech about AIDS in 1987, prompted in part by Taylor’s personal plea.)  Deeply compassionate, Taylor fought against discrimination and for the lives and dignity of people with HIV and AIDS.  She was a champion for AIDS research and prevention, becoming the national chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and leading a global fundraising effort that has raised more than $233 million.

Here are two great ways to honor Taylor’s legacy of activism and continue the fight against HIV and AIDS:

  • Support the Scientists Fighting HIV: amfAR is one of the world’s largest organizations dedicated to funding the “foot soldiers” on the frontlines of HIV and AIDS research, putting money into finding new and innovative treatments—and an eventual cure—for HIV and AIDS.
  • Help People Living With HIV and AIDS: The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has donated more than $12 million to organizations helping prevent the spread of the disease. Its grants go to groups working directly to help patients and to those living with HIV and AIDS.

Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23 of congestive heart failure.  She was 79.





Bye Bye My Old Friends

You may have seen some TMZ photos of me checking into The Lady Gaga Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, but I know you’re much too smart to believe everything you see in the tabloids.  Don’t worry, my darlings!  It’s not the drinking and pill popping that have me knocking on Gaga’s door.  I’ve been diagnosed with a rare but glamorous form of exhaustion known as “fierce fatigue” among celebrities and trendsetters.  (It’s like gay fatigue, but without the existential identity crisis).

Please accept my thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart for standing by me. Because of the overwhelming support and love from my amazing fans, I’m inspired and determined to (yawn)…what was I saying?… beat this thing. My wonderful publicist, Deborah Zimmerman, will post occasional updates on my progress, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, be well my lovelies!  xoxo

Get Looped, Dahling

“Daddy warned me about men and alcohol.  But he never warned me about women and cocaine.”  –Tallulah Bankhead

Dahlings, send a video of yourself doing your best Tallulah Bankhead impersonation for a chance to win a trip for 2 to NY, tickets to see Looped on Broadway, a backstage visit with Valerie Harper, two nights stay at the fabulous and legendary Algonquin Hotel, and more!  I’ve stayed at the Algonquin and can attest to its fabulousity.

Here’s another of my favorite Tallulah quotes for inspiration:

“I’ll come and make love to you at five o’clock. If I’m late start without me.”


  • Videos should be 15 seconds or less.
  • Submissions will be accepted through April 30th, 2010.
  • Winner to be chosen and notified on May 4th, 2010.
  • Click here for information on how to enter your video.
  • Click here to watch Tallulah film and TV clips!
  • Never Been a Bad Girl

    Whether you’re nice or naughty, you’re going to like Sabrina Chap’s new video!

    From The Queerist:

    In a world of flash-in-the-pan acts and pop music saturation, it’s a joy to discover Sabrina Chap, a deeply talented musician who’s well grounded in songwriting and grand performanceship . When her songwriting career collided with a discovery of ragtime years ago, it launched her in a new direction, creating jazzy-heavy tunes with vintage, hearty vocals. Clever lyrics and a penchant for cabaret only amped up the appeal.   Read the rest here.

    “Puh-leeeze don’t like me!”

    Inspiration from the world of Miss Grace Jones….

    “I do what I want and I’m satisfied with it, whether or not it pleases everybody….  Actually, there are certain people I definitely don’t want to please.  There are some people I’m like ‘Oh no, puh-leeeze don’t like me!'”

    “If you’re out there you’re vulnerable. People prefer to disappear in life, to repress their personality. That’s not living. It’s dying. I see them all over the place, the walking dead.”

    “I wasn’t born this way.  One creates oneself.”

    Cowboy Kate: A Tribute

    The visual impact of a Sam Haskins photograph can’t be beat. I love his cinematic sensibility, graphic edge, and cool, modern approach to the nude.  

    Haskins has been enormously influential in contemporary photography, especially fashion photography, since the 1960s.  Madonna and other artists have been appropriating his images for years (Madonna is especially fond of the Cowboy Kate look), which is one reason his work seems instantly familiar to us today.

    I’m very sad to say that I’ve just learned that Haskins took his own life last week.  According to his son, he was severely depressed following a stroke he suffered in September.  I’m sending my love and sympathy to Sam’s family, friends, and admirers.  Now more than ever, it’s time to pay tribute to this photographer’s striking body of work.

    Top 10 Lesbian Style & Fashion Icons


    I can’t say I agree with all their picks, but I’m happy to see Kate Moennig, Beth Ditto, kd lang, and Joan Jett on Autostraddle’s Top 10 Lesbian Style & Fashion Icons list

    I love that dapper kd talks about herself almost as a third gender while simultaneously owning her “womanly” body.  I’m not a Jackie Warner fan, but I think she deserved to make the list.  But hey where’s Rachel Maddow, the new “Butch Fatale?”

    I should admit that Ellen Degeneres is #1 on their list, but I would much rather put up a pic of Kate Moennig (#2) than Ellen.  In addition to being everyone’s favorite sexy andro tomboy, she really does have great style. So there, Autostraddle!  And you’re welcome, dear readers.


    On Your Knees! It’s Miss Grace Jones


    Who else could pull off gold eyebrows with so much ferocity but the incomparable Grace Jones?  I know, I know.  She scares you, right?  Frankly, I hope so. 

    While I have not been blessed with Miss Jones’s gift for provocation, l have nothing but admiration for her willingness to embody extremity of all kinds.  To me, her sculptural beauty and edgy visual style–a collision of tribal and techno, masculine and feminine–will always be her greatest creation.

    Here’s an excerpt from photographer Jean-Paul Goude’s interview with the legendary Lady Grace in V Magazine (Spring 2009):

    JPG Would you say that your rebellion towards your family’s authority extended to your relationship with the men in your life?
    GJ I think so, yes. And I think that is what contributed to my masculinization. I deliberately challenged men’s roles. In fact, I survived by taking on both roles. By the way, I also think that all men need to be penetrated.
    JPG I beg your pardon?
    GJ At least once in their lifetime.
    JPG Why?
    GJ Because then they would understand what it is like to receive. It’s my own theory, which I think could help take some of the aggression out of the world.
    JPG But isn’t the nature of man to give, or should I say to provide?
    GJ Of course not. It’s the nature of man to give and receive—to be man and woman, all in one.
    JPG But you’re not about to become a man, are you?
    GJ No, but some men think I’m a man…
    JPG What men?
    GJ [Laughs] Look, I’m not your average woman. I know that! I try to live with myself and figure myself out. I have terrible relationships because of my temper and some men actually want to kill me because they think I have more balls than they do….



    grace_jones by jean-paul goude

    Grace Jones & Azzedine Alaïa

    grace jones

    grace jones by andrea klarin