Uber Proves Itself Not Completely Evil By Offering Free Drag Shows On-Demand For Pride

Drag Queens on-Demand Stacey Starstruck, Amora Dior Black, and Robbie Turner.
Drag Queens on-Demand Stacey Starstruck, Amora Dior Black, and Robbie Turner. Photo courtesy of Uber

This Saturday, Uber will be teaming up with Seattle Pride to offer Drag Queens on-Demand - if you’re in Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, or Downtown from 2 to 6 p.m. tomorrow, you can tap the “PRIDE” option and get an exclusive drag performance at the location of your choosing along with your ride.

Uber will also be donating $1 to Country Doctor Community Health Centers (CDCHC) each time someone posts the hashtag #INDIVISIBLE (the theme of Seattle’s Pride March) on social media this weekend.

This is undoubtedly, awesome. But wait! Isn’t Uber that ultra-evil company steeped in sexism, icky labor practices, and toxic masculinity that we’ve been writing about a lot lately? Well…yes. But.

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Charleena Lyles' Public Defender Raised Concerns About Police Treatment Two Weeks Before Officers Shot Her

Charleena Lyles
Charleena Lyles Courtesy of Family

Two weeks before two Seattle police officers fatally shot Charleena Lyles after she made a 911 call reporting an alleged burglary, a public defender criticized police in a Seattle courtroom for "pulling their guns" on Lyles during a domestic violence call she made on June 5, according to audio obtained from the hearing.

At a bail hearing for harassment and obstruction charges against Lyles, public defender Ashwin Kumar pointed out that the charges filed against Lyles resulted from a 911 call she made for help.

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Souvenir Stories from the Pride Picnic

An open air market in Morocco

Whether it’s fantastic or disastrous, travel tends to be memorable. So it’s no surprise that people have been bringing home objects to represent those memories for pretty much as long as humans have been going places. Sometimes it’s a hand-carved figurine that’ll always remind you of a particular local culture; sometimes it’s a shot glass with “TAHITI” printed on it so you can passive-aggressively remind your friends you got to go there and they didn’t. The range of things that can be souvenirs is wide and delightfully weird.

From my own life, one of my personal favorites is something I brought a friend from my honeymoon in Iceland. It’s a few-inch-high windup toy of…a hopping erect penis. It’s a really good windup toy, too—it hops proudly and energetically. I purchased it in the gift shop of the Iceland Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, which is exactly what it sounds like. (Full disclosure: This was not the only penis-related souvenir I brought back for someone from that trip. I might not be the best friend/daughter.)

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The Legend of Georgia McBride Is the Play to See This Pride

It’s light and funny and it involves a straight guy (on the right) learning to do drag.
It’s light and funny and it involves a straight guy (on the right, played by Adam Standley) learning to do drag from a queen who's seen it all (Timothy McCuen Piggee, on the left). Chris Bennion

The Legend of Georgia McBride opens on Casey (Adam Standley) trying and failing to make it big as an Elvis impersonator, and struggling to provide for his wife Jo (Nastacia Guimont). We’re treated to a glimpse of their private lives, but as is often the case, things don’t really start getting interesting until the drag queens show up. Tracy Mills, played by Timothy McCuen Piggee in full face and drag, and Anorexia Nervosa, or Rexy for short (Charles Smith), come in to shake up the show at the club where Casey has been performing as Elvis, and end up costing Casey his gig.

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Don't Get Excited About Senator Dean Heller's Opposition to Trumpcare

This guy needs to multiply by three.
This guy needs to multiply by three. David Calvert / Getty

Nevada's Dean Heller, one of two vulnerable Republican Senators up for reelection in 2018, has announced his opposition "in this form" to Trumpcare. Holding up a copy of the bill, he backed up his tentative position by citing his reluctance to support a bill that "takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans."

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Spielberg Not Only Directed a Film With Black Female Leads, It's Also One of the Greatest Black American Films

Here are best films made about black American worlds, and in this order:

To Sleep With Anger - Charles Burnett

Devil In A Blue Dress - Carl Franklin

Moonlight - Barry Jenkins

Do the Right Thing - Spike Lee

The Color Purple - Steven Spielberg

Daughters of the Dust - Julia Dash

Killer of Sheep - Charles Burnett

She's Got Have It - Spike Lee

Eves Bayou - Kasi Lemmons

Fences Denzel Washington

As you can see, there is only one white director in this list. It's Steven Spielberg. Elizabeth Banks apparently has never heard of his film The Color Purple, otherwise she would not have made the statement that Spielberg had never made a film with a female lead. Indeed, not only does the film have females in starring roles, it launched the career of a black woman, Whoopi Goldberg; claimed the best performance of an American (and black) icon, Oprah Winfrey; and is based on a book by one of the three black women writers (Alice Walker) who revolutionized black American literature in the 1970s (the other two being Toni Cade Bambara and Toni Morrison).

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Sad Sam Elliott: Growing Old with The Hero


This week's entry into the illustrious genre of Indie Movies About Sad Old Men, The Hero follows Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott), a 71-year-old movie star who's keenly aware that he's about 40 years past his prime. Pros: Lee gets to hang out all day getting stoned and watching Buster Keaton movies with his buddy/pot dealer (Nick Offerman). Cons: Aside from shilling for barbecue sauce, he's not getting much work, and he's got a nearly nonexistent relationship with his daughter (Krysten Ritter, at her Krysten Ritteriest). So, you know: pretty old, pretty sad.

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I, Anonymous: Give Us Your Pride Stories!

You know you want to.
You know you want to.

Hey ya’ll, how’s PRIDE?

Want to tell us about it?

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Kshama Sawant's Petition For a 'Community-Based' Investigation of the Charleena Lyles Shooting

Charleena Lyles
Charleena Lyles Courtesy of Family

Following the death of Charleena Lyles, the pregnant mother of four who was shot and killed by two Seattle police officers on Sunday, Councilmember Kshama Sawant created a petition yesterday seeking an independent, community-based investigation of the incident.

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Manifesto is Full of Entertaining Dadaist Nonsense, Self-Righteous Conviction, and Cate Blanchett's Transformations

Cate Blanchett plays more than 13 characters in Julian Rosefeldts Manifesto.
Cate Blanchett plays more than 13 characters in Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto.

While watching Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto, a film that began as a 13-screen art installation, the audience is lectured at and berated for an hour-and-a-half—but the result is surprisingly entertaining. Rosefeldt describes the script as a series of "text collages," each of which is made up of one or many artistic/political manifestos. The words of Marx and Engel are presented alongside filmmaking rules by Lars von Trier; the result is a passionate hodgepodge of art, politics, and philosophy that doesn’t make any narrative sense but instead serves as an ode to expression and conviction.

A major draw of this movie is watching and hearing how Cate Blanchett can transform herself. She plays more than 13 characters and when she appears on screen in a different role, she has a new voice and face, made even more dramatic by expert hair and makeup alterations.

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Trans Rights Activists, ACLU Ask Secretary of State to Investigate and Reject I-1552 Petitions

Seth Kirby, chair of trans rights group Washington Wont Discriminate, which is challenging Just Want Privacy petitions with the state.
Seth Kirby, chair of trans rights group Washington Won't Discriminate, which is challenging Just Want Privacy petitions with the state. Washington Won't Discriminate

Just Want Privacy, the group behind a proposed initiative that would repeal state human rights protections for transgender adults and students, has just two weeks to submit the petition signatures it needs to get I-1552 on the ballot. But trans rights and civil liberties activists fighting the initiative say Just Want Privacy's signature-gathering tactics have run afoul of the law and deserve a closer look.

Today, Washington Won't Discriminate (the trans rights group), Legal Voice, and the ACLU submitted a letter to Secretary of State Kim Wyman asking the state to investigate Just Want Privacy's practices. The groups contend that Just Want Privacy has incorrectly stated the court-approved ballot title and summary on two of its petitions, as well as omitted the full text of the measure on the back of the sheets. The groups have asked that Wyman reject petitions with those flaws, and the same letter alleges that anti-trans activists have used false and misleading tactics to get people to sign their names in the first place.

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Issaquah to Its Young Drivers: Excessive Speeding Is Something to Yawn About


There are low-density ideologies and high-density ideologies. When the latter kind of ideology reaches a climax state, it generates its own problems and solutions. Private car ownership in the US is at the center of one of the densest ideologies history has ever known. And there is a good reason for this density, which is almost in a climax state: if car ideology were thin, then all of the absurdities of this mode of transportation would be too obvious.

American car ideology is reinforced by powerful private enterprises (advertising agencies, car manufactures, oil companies) but also by public institutions (transportation departments, and courts). An example of the former is found in this excellent Seattle Times' piece: "Issaquah student was doing 102 mph — and didn’t get a fine. Should fellow students be the judges?" The reporter, Lynn Thompson, explains that in Issuaquah and other parts of the Eastside, excessive speeding by young drivers is not considered a serious enough matter for adult courts. It's something that youth courts can deal with. If a young person is caught driving under the influence, then he/she will have to face a real judge. But if the young person is caught driving even 60 miles above the speed limit, that is a matter for the teens to judge and punish. And the punishments are considered to not even be a "slap on the wrist."

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My First Time Being Sober in a Gay Bar


I'm painfully early and alone. Cucci's Critter Barn at Kremwerk, 7 p.m., the invite said. I should have known drag queens wouldn't start until at least 8:30. The room is empty, but sultry crimson and lavender LEDs keep me company. The music is a presence, but I don't have to shout when ordering a tonic and lime at the bar. As if not to offend, I add "for now," and the bartender laughs. "I like that. You'll get to the liquor eventually," she says, and tells me no charge. For a moment I'm flustered and feel conspicuous. I find a seat in a corner and wait.

Sobriety came to me first as an exercise in financial restraint. I had been spending roughly $200 a month on alcohol—not an outlandish amount, but it adds up. There were other reasons to experiment with being dry, too, like physical and mental health, but when it came to telling friends, frugality seemed like the simplest rationale.

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Rock Mockumentary I’m Not Fascinating Depicts the Ludicrous Plight of Icky Boyfriends


Originally released in 1996, I’m Not Fascinating is the sort of cult film you’d expect from one of the founders of irreverent-to-the-max Detroit music zine Motorbooty. Director and cowriter Danny Plotnick parlays his caustic sense of humor and appetite for absurdity into a crude satire of the music industry starring hapless power(less) trio Icky Boyfriends, whose drummer Tony B. (aka Anthony Bedard) cowrote the screenplay. This band could be perceived as the male Shaggs; their janky grunt rock and cranky vocals makes Half Japanese sound like Yes. Yet through the songs’ murkiness, you can discern the poignancy of the chronic loser.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Straight Man Offended by Teen Boy Catcalling Him


I'm a 35-year-old, straight, white male. Tonight, I was walking downtown in my city at about 8 PM and I thought I heard someone say something behind me. I turned to see a young Latino kid (my guess is he was 13-years-old). I asked him to repeat himself. He quietly said that I had a nice ass. Of course I'm not interested because I'm not gay and the kid is underage. I did not feel threatened. He wasn't aggressive and I'm significantly older than he is. I know from my friends who are men who are gay and just from my general experience that men who are gay are much more forward with each other when flirting. I still think about this in terms of my own experience though and know that I would never tell a random woman on the street that she has a nice ass. I know you wouldn't tell a woman that she should take a comment like that as a compliment. So what about me? Is this a situation in which the kid was in the wrong, but we should cut him some slack since he is so young and he didn't do anything threatening?

Always See Sensitively

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Adrien Leavitt's Photography Basks in the Beauty of Queer Bodies


Right now, the walls of Vermillion are covered with photographs of bodies. Fat bodies and thin bodies. Brown bodies and white bodies. Bodies with tattoos and bodies with scars. Gender nonconforming bodies. Each one revealing a private, interior world of vulnerability and emotion typically reserved for our most intimate moments.

The bodies are part of Queer Feelings, an ongoing exploration by photographer Adrien Leavitt of queerness and the intimate, complex relationship that we have with our bodies. "As a trans person and a queer person, I often feel like I don't see representations of myself in media or art," Leavitt tells me. "When I finally found representations of queer and trans people that I could relate to—that looked like me or like my community—I felt tremendously moved. With that in mind, I started exploring self-portraiture as a way of reflecting on myself and my own identity, particularly as it relates to gender."

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