Cultural Discussion of Lack of LGBT Romantic Portrayal and What Can You Do? #gay #lgbt #photography

Braden Summers is asking the question why there isn’t more portrayal of romance in LGBT portraits and is determined to do something about it.

“ALL LOVE IS EQUAL is a photography campaign that illustrates one perspective on what love and romance within the gay community could look like in a future, more accepting time. The images focus on culturally diverse couples and locations to emphasize the dream; the aspiration of finding acceptance for gay and lesbian couples globally. From the perspective of the media and high-end advertising, it might appear that the western world is largely pushing for gay marriage equality while other countries fight to prevent couples from ending up in jail after a public exchange of affection. This campaign goes beyond the current fundamental differences of what gay rights look like in different cultures and attempts to normalize the presence of gay and lesbian couples everywhere.  There is a lack of hopeful, romantic, dreamy visuals to communicate the love that exists in this community. The photographs will be relatable to the general public by being images of exaggerated beauty first, and illustrations of gay and lesbian couples second; work you won’t want to look away from.”

Read more and watch a video of him explaining the cultural issues involved and what’s at stake HERE. Then help fund his way to make more beautiful pictures like these! I gave generously and hope it is used well!


Twelve Dancing Princesses #nails #polish

Twelve Dancing Princesses inspired nails by fishing4beauty.

I love how many people are inspired in so many different ways by fairy tales. This could probably be a Fanworks Friday installment, but I decided to put it up separately.

From fishing4beauty’s website:

This challenge was basically to recreate a manicure of another participant. This was such a difficult challenge. The manicures were all so amazing and well executed that I was intimidated to recreate any of them. However, when I saw the manicure created for Day 4 (Lights, Camera, Action!) by The Polished Squirrel I new that this was the one I wanted to attempt. Stephanie was inspired by the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

The trees of silver, gold, and diamond are definitely one of my favorite aspects of the tale, so Keira and I kept that part of the story true to form in our retelling, Love’s Nest, despite the many other changes we made to the book.

7 – Twenty Five Things Tuesday: Get Drunk In Front of this Mural Again

First, on the list of things I apparently will never do again in my life–which, ha, really should be a whole other set of posts, because there are plenty of things I’ll never do again–I will apparently (and sadly) never be able to sit in the bar of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and get deliciously drunk while staring at this picture over the bar.

The Pied Piper by Maxfield Parrish at The Palace Hotel.

The Palace Hotel has removed the icon from it’s place over the bar. To quote: The hotel said the painting was being sold because “it is no longer practical for the hotel to display, an original work of this value and cultural signifcance, in a public area.”

Wait, wait, wait! Hold the presses! As I was searching for the picture to go with the above, I found out that there was such public outcry that the hotel has decided not to sell the painting after all. Awesome news!!! I sure hope they put it back where it was. Getting drunk while staring at that painting is one of my fondest memories. So fond, I did it twice and had decided it would be worth the migraine to do it a third time.

Click to see the bigger file. No photo can truly capture it, though.
Click to see the bigger file. No photo can truly capture it, though.

So, I officially change this post back to the original topic of Twenty Five Things I want to do/accomplish before my eventual (hopefully far away) death. I want to get drunk staring at this mural again. Preferably in the Palace Hotel in the company of my husband and my dear, dear friend. The same dear friend my husband and I got drunk with the first two times, because, God, I haven’t seen her in forever. Heh. That should be another post in this series. It could be a series of posts. Friends I want to see again before I die (with my death being, hopefully, a long time from now, and the seeing their faces a short time from now).

Regardless! Thing Seven! Get drunk in front of the Pied Piper! Again!

Fanworks Friday: Icons on LJ — A Soon To Be Lost Art?

Now that Tumblr is taking over fandom, the small 100×100 pictures known as icons or avatars on LiveJournal seem to be losing importance. There was a time when icons were an art in and of themselves with entire communities dedicated to them. Now it seems they’ve fallen prey to Tumlbr, too.

Icon Addicts
Fandom Icons

A few samples:


by atoms_vibrating


by booshsploosh


by winterfel


by thefixedfoot


by tricksterings


by ever_maedhros


by ever_maedhros


by tricksterings

Flipping Gender Changes Meaning — Examples

Photo by Michel Dierickx

A question I get a lot is “Why m/m? Why do you write so many books with gay main characters?” I’ve got a lot of reasons behind that, some of them incredibly deep and involved, based in feminism and gay rights and freeing the mind. But let’s leave all that behind for now, and focus on how things change meaning when you change the sex/gender of any particular person within a certain expected dynamic.

I feel like the easiest way to illustrate this is with music, so let’s start there.

Everyone knows Adele’s song “Someone Like You”. What happens to the meaning and to your understanding of the song when a man sings it without changing any lyrics.

Jay Brannan also did a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”. When he performed it live, he said, “My favorite thing about this song is knowing that by singing it I make you all picture me in a sundress.” I practically jumped up and down when he said that because it told me that he gets it and isn’t just covering it because he likes it, but that he sees a wider implication in his choices.

Another example might be Tori Amos covering “I’m Not In Love”. As she said in an interview, people grew up in the 1970s and 80s slow-danced to this song, not really listening to the lyrics. She covered it to point out how the meaning of it changes when it’s sung by a woman. What opinions do we have about a woman who sings, “I’m not in love, so don’t forget it. It’s just a silly phase I’m going through, and just because I call you up, don’t get me wrong, don’t think you’ve got it made. I’m not in love, no no, it’s because…I like to see you, but then again, that doesn’t mean you mean that much to me.” How do we feel about her compared to how we might feel about a man singing the same thing.

And then there is the more obvious commentary of “Real Men”.

For me, aside from just wanting to tell good stories with characters that I like, I enjoy the challenging nature of writing away from expectations and exploring how changing the sex, gender, sexuality of characters changes the consequences of certain behaviors within relationships. As I said, this is only the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a nice fat tip. Enjoy it. (Heh. See what I did there? LOL!)

Fanwork Friday: Pause for Zokka Flailing

So, last night I had a migraine, but that’s not the important part of this post. I put the kiddo to bed, but I could hear her reading in her room. I wanted to wait to go to sleep until she was out, too, so I decided to while away the time by going down the rabbit hole of the internet. I honestly have no idea how I even clicked my way to this story, but I ended up opening an Avatar: The Last Airbender slash story with very little intent to actually read it.

But then, holy crap, I fell.

The rabbit hole sucked me down.

I found that I was wrong this whole time about my Avatar OTPs. I thought they were Aang/Katara, Sokka/Suki, and Zuko/Mai. But guess what? This was incorrect. I am still all for Aang/Katara, but my new shiny OTP is Sokka/Zuko! Oh, man, it is delish. Who knew? Whoooo knewwww???


 photo byrabby_zpsdb1ac009.jpg
By Rabby at DeviantArt


 photo zuko1_zps80b7405d.gif photo zuko2_zps8467aa30.gif
Sokka: So we came all this way for nothing. I failed. Again.
Zuko: Err, what would Uncle say‌? Sometimes clouds have two sides, a dark and light. And a silver lining in between. It’s like a silver sandwich! So…when life seems hard…take a bite out of the silver sandwich!
Sokka: Maybe we haven’t failed after all!
Zuko: That’s the spirit! I can’t believe that worked. I didn’t even know what I was saying!
Sokka: No, what you said made no sense at all.

 photo zukkaturnedtomoon_zps97477084.gif photo zukoroughbuddy_zps525c4680.gif
Sokka: My first girlfriend turned into the moon.
Zuko: That’s rough buddy.


Oh, and the story, which is kind of crack-fiction and chock-full of epithets and kind of over the top with unrealistic sex, but who cares, is Volatile by squirrellysemantics. Just so you know.

Fanwork Friday: Character Inspired Shopping

I think this might be one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen: Character Inspired Shopping by ja_vy. If I had money to burn, I would absolutely buy most of these outfits and commit my life to wearing one character inspired outfit a day until the end of time.

Examples of the awesome:


Greed-ler by ja-vy featuring round sunglasses



Éponine by ja-vy featuring a news boy hat



Merlin by stormifish featuring skinny leg jeans


Eleventh Doctor

Eleventh Doctor by ja-vy featuring dorothy perkins


The Little Prince

The Little Prince by ja-vy featuring oska


Kara Thrace

Kara Thrace by ja-vy featuring gold rings


Babar the Elephant

Babar the Elephant by ja-vy featuring saddle oxford shoes


Derek Hale

Derek Hale by ja-vy featuring jersey tops


Jane Bennet

Jane Bennet by ja-vy featuring a sheer dress



Sauron by ja-vy featuring pearl jewelry

I probably should have limited my examples, but there are just too many cool ones and in such diversity that I couldn’t resist!