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Effing Dykes

Posted by melanella on April 3, 2017 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

"Your Girl Gaydar Sucks. Let me help you."


- The title tagline for kick-ass queer lady blog, Effing Dykes.


Photo of Krista Burton from afterellen.com


For anyone who doesn't already know, Effing Dykes is an award-winning blog gorgeously and wisely written by Krista Burton (kristavadora on Insta). I've been a devoted fan of her blog since my own coming out days (circa 2010/11 or so). I came for the girl gaydar skill testing questions, I stayed for the sexy and scintillating stories from Krista's (and her friend's) adventures in lady dating. 


Unfortunately, Effing Dykes went on an impossibly long hiatus in March of 2013 which more or less crushed my soul. Where was I supposed to get all of my queer-lady dating tips now? What would become of my love life now that I was left to my own devices? Without her insights and guidance, I was left to figure out for myself who was queer and who was not at a time when plaid shirts and asymmetrical haircuts were becoming more and more mainstream. 


The absence of Effing Dykes was profoundly felt in my young lesbo life as it was such a resource to me at a time when I needed it most. I read and re-read every single post she had made prior to this hiatus while checking back from time to time to see if she had returned. She never said this break would be permanent... 


Just after New Years 2017, I happened upon an article posted by the NY Times written in a voice I felt like I knew. The tone was so familiar, the insights so on-point that I knew immediately who I was listening to. Discovering Krista's Hipsters Broke My Gaydar felt like bumping into an old friend in a an unfamiliar city. After reading it, I rushed over to her blogspot and saw that at long last, Krista and Effing Dykes had finally returned! 


Sigh of relief = An understatement. 


I've been struggling romantically of late and cannot express how grateful I am to have this resource back in my life. 


I want to apologize for not introducing you to Effing Dykes sooner, but I have now and that's all that really matters.


Why now and not back in January? 


Her most recent post has shaken my universe, you guys. Please please please do yourselves a favour and read it. Like, right now


Welcome back, Effing Dykes! 




Ellen Page in Peterborough, Ontario??

Posted by doyouknowellen@gmail.com on April 1, 2017 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Pint-sized Canadian actress and out Lesbian Ellen Page was spotted leaving choice Queer-Friendly hang out Black Honey Dessert and Coffeehouse in Downtown Peterborough. 



 

The Juno actress was spotted leaving the Cafe District hot-spot, coffee in hand on Saturday afternoon. 


These shots were taken by local queer about town, Logan Woodrow, from across the street at The Only Cafe. The photos were forwarded to DoYouKnowEllen? founder Mélanie Dubois shortly thereafter. 


What is Ellen Page doing Peterborough?


Perhaps Page is hard at work on the next season of GAYCATION, a documetary series she launched in 2016 with collaborator Ian Daniel, exploring LGBT Culture around the world. 


Rumor has it the Whip It star might be making a special appearance at the Peterborough Area Roller Derby Funraiser "BOOTY BLOCK" being held at SHOTS this evening....


DoYouKnowEllen? has reached out to noted Drag performers Madge Enthat and Miss DivaLicious who will be performing at the event for confirmation.


No comment received at time of publishing. 







The Dating Game Revisited: Q and A /w Em and Lindsay

Posted by melanella on September 18, 2015 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

After another incredibly entertaining and laugh-filled evening at CrackerJack Theatre last Monday night, with special guests -- The Making Box -- all the way from Guelph, ON. I finally got down to following up with my pals Em and Lindsay re: our shared CrackerJack experience on The Dating Game! 


As promised, here is the Q & A with Em & Lindsay! 


?: How did you end up being a contestant on Crackerjack Theatre’s The Dating Game? What made you say “Yes” to Kenn?



E: Kenn is a friend of mine and when he approached me with the idea of a queer dating show I jumped at the chance. I am a researcher, an artist, and an activist, and my focus is Queer Studies. I want queer people to be represented whenever they can be. There have been so many heterosexual dating shows, I’ve never seen a queer one.


L: I was stage managing Kenn out at Homestead and he asked if I would be interested in participating in a Crackerjack show. I replied enthusiastically, so he explained that it would be the dating game. He asked if I was still game, and after a short pause I said "why not?" I'm pretty adventurous, and it's not often I'll say no to a challenge. 




 

?: Based solely on voice, describe (or better yet - draw!) what you thought Lindsay looked like before you met.



E: She sounded, funny, intelligent, and elegant. It didn’t matter to me however what she potentially looked like, that was another great part of doing The Dating Game, part of my label is that I am sapiosexual. “Sapiosexual” is defined as: Attracted to intelligence or the human mind. I liked what Lindsay has to say.


When asked this question, Lindsay drew this: 





(So, Em, I think that means you sound sound pretty darn cute, too ;)) 


?: What was the moment just before the revel of each of the losing contestants like? Were we what you expected? 


E: Before the reveal I was excited and happy to be apart of something I think the audience seemed to enjoy. I was expecting one male and I was expecting Melanie. Very early into the Game I realized that I knew one of the contestants, not only by her self-summary but by her beautiful voice! The other contestant was male, as I assumed.



?: What was the moment just before meeting Em like? What were some of the thoughts that were circling around in your head?

L: "What have I done?" - I was walloped by anxiety when it came time to walk around the wall that had separated us during the show. Meeting someone new can be nerve wracking enough; doing it in front of an audience amplified it for me. It didn't seem real until that point in the show.


 

?: What was it from Lindsay’s answers that made you choose her?

E: Lindsay had a great Tickle Me Elmo joke that was one of the funniest parts of the show. She also was a teacher and had read a great number of good books which is a quality I admire in anyone.



?: Aside from winning, what is your fondest memory from the evening?


L: I enjoyed getting to know the other two suitors by drinking and joking around with them before the show. It helped ease the tension and made it a fun night. I'd rather have comrades than competitors, and that's what it felt like.


 

?: Tell me about your first date? How did you prepare for the date?


L: It was fun -we went to The Food Forest for dinner and to my friend's CD release and after party. My prep for dates and interviews are pretty much the same: singing along to the radio while straightening my hair and sipping tea. 



E: Well I tried to look decent but otherwise I just went hoping to have fun. I tried my very best to be me on the date. We went to the Food Forest, a yummy vegan restaurant in Peterborough. Afterward we went to see Kate Suhr, an amazing Canadian singer/songwriter play at the Gordon Best Theatre. It was a fantastic evening!


 

?: What did each of you order at The Food Forest? At the Sapphire room? 


L: She had the taco salad and a cider (I think). We didn't make it to the Sapphire Room.



E: At the Food Forest Lindsay ordered a salad/sandwich combo and a gluten-free beer. We have not yet gone to the Sapphire Room (that’s next!) but their martini menu is to die for, I can’t wait to go. 


 

?: I saw you two at the Citiots Improv the following Friday night. Em, how did you like the show?



E: I’ve seen the Citiots only one other time (quite a while ago might I add) but loved them. Lindsay, however, is a very big fan so she suggested that we go. I, of course, happily accepted.




?: Lindsay, what was it like to get serenaded by Meghan Murphy in front of Em and everyone on your second date? 


L: Amazing! It was oodles of fun, and I enjoyed when Em got pulled up for a game later on in the evening. My face hurt from laughing that night!




 

?: Final question! Lindsay, describe Em in 5 words or less. 

L: Busy, inquisitive, creative, animated, fun



Em?

E: Stunning / Talented / Intelligent / Kind / Funny

 

or

 

Once in a life time.


⚡︎


Well, there you have it kids! 

DoYouKnowEllen? would like to thank Lindsay and Em for these thoughful and adorable answers.

Be sure to check out all of the neat stuff and places and people and events mentioned thoughout the interview (I mean, if you know what's good for you!) 

Fall Fashion, plus DIY!

Posted by melanella on September 6, 2015 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The seasons are changing here in Canada and before we know it, the leaves will be fighting their last beautiful and chromatic fight before lining the sidewalks. Lets face it folks, sweater weather will soon be upon us. And while I can’t help but mourn the Summer that seems to have flown by, I must say that I am looking forward to Fall. Not for the cold or pumpkin spice overkill, but rather for the fashion. The autumnal pallet is a rich, natural and gorgeous one with deep purples, burnt oranges and delicious browns in abundance. This season is great for pale girls like me, who couldn’t get the sun to kiss her if she tossed a toonie in it’s jar at the fair. I mean, I do ok. But I’m always going to look my best in the deep shades that fill the pages of fashion magazines this time of year.

 

I’ve been looking at my wardrobe a lot lately, having just done a purge of all the pieces that no longer (or never did) fit or flatter my shrinking yet still quite curvy figure. I’ve come to the realization that in my not too distant past, I had a terrible habit of purchasing clothing that fit, regardless of whether it suit me. If I could put it on my body and the price tag wasn’t outrageous, I would buy it. Little to no questions asked. Sure, some were decisions that I made, but a lot were informed by the limitations born of a curvier girl not feeling like she could comfortably pull off what was being sold in stores. Not because I didn’t have the confidence (trust me, I have plenty of that) but rather because in most shops, I was at the high end of the sizes available. If something was snug, oftentime there was no option to go up a size. This left me with a wardrobe full of clothing that didn’t say anything in particular about my personal style, other than that I didn’t really have one.

 

Since coming out, I’ve been a lot more conscious of my appearance. Not necessarily in a bad way but as a femme presenting lesbian, there have been instances of feeling invisible to my community despite my occupation of queer spaces. As much as I hate to admit that appearance holds any weight, when it comes to identifying and being identified by queer women, unfortunately it does. From head to toe, what we wear and how we wear it contains subtle (and not so subtle) signifiers of our inclinations, and only we have the power to curate those signifiers.

 

Here follows my latest attempt to curate my style, while simultaneously updating an older piece for the upcoming season. 




D.Y.K.E. D.I.Y: Wine Coloured Pants Edition




A few years ago, I picked up a pair of dusty rose jeans at my local Winners. Summer pant: shorter than most (but then again, so am I) which are meant to be rolled up at the cuffs. Lately, they’ve gotten pretty loose, but that isn’t my main complaint. This colour does not flatter me. Honestly, no pale colour pant truly does. That being said, these pants are still in really great shape and it seemed a waste to get rid of them just because I purchased them in the wrong colour. There are ways of fixing things like that, after all… 




After doing a bit of Pinterest research and hitting up my local Michaels, I was ready to set out on my first pants dying adventure.


BEFORE


This photo doesn't quite capture the colour of the jeans before I dyed them, unfortunately. You can see the colour a little bit better below in the shot of them in the sink in Step 2.  

Here’s how it went down, in case you want to do it yourself. 




What you will need:




  • a pair of pants in an unfortunate (for you) colour 
  • 
clothing dye in a colour of your own choosing

  • salt (or vinegar, depending on the kind of dye you buy -- always follow the instructions!)
  • gloves
  • your kitchen sink and/or bathtub
  • access to laundry machines
  • patience

 

 

Step 1: Read the instructions carefully and regardless of what I say/do below, follow them for your specific garment, based on what it’s made of. My pants were mostly cotton, so I followed the instructions for that kind of fabric. 





Step 2: Pre-wet your garment. 

Pro Tip: I set my jeans 

on the base of my dish rack to keep water off the counter while I was performing Step 3. 



Step 3: Fill your sink with hot water. The instructions were a bit confusing/required me to measure things and so I just filled the sink half way. 




Step 4: For cotton, it said to add a cup of salt. I did not realize the bottle of liquid dye I bought needed another ingredient, but was lucky that I had almost an entire cup of salt.


Step 5: Add your dye. I used Rit Liquid Dye in Wine.

Pro Tip: Watch closely, it looks really neat! 




Step 6: Put on your gloves (any impermeable ones will do) and immerse your pre-wet fabric into the dye bath.


Step 7: Practice patience while stirring constantly for 30-60 minutes. Instead of stirring, I went for more of a kneading technique.

Pro Tip: Get on the phone with someone you make great conversation with to help pass the time! 




Step 8: Rinse your garment thoroughly until the water runs clear. This was probably the most difficult part. Even when I thought I had done a great job of rinsing in the sink, there was still so much dye when I moved to the bathtub for a quick rinse for good measure. The waistband was particularly saturated.

 I got tired of wringing with my hands that I decided to try a “wine stomping” approach, which seemed appropriate for this particular colour of dye. 




Step 9: Wash your garment in warm water and tumble dry. My building has coin laundry, so I had resigned to paying the $4 it would have taken to wash and dry these pants separate from any other laundry when the wonderful conversationalist who kept me company throughout Step 7 invited me to her place.

Pro Tip: Accept spontaneous hang-out invites from cute girls who have laundry machines in their apartments. 




Step 10: Netflix and chill while the laundry sorts itself out ;)


AFTER

I think I expected a deeper colour based on how the pants looked while they were being dyed/when they were wet. That being said, I am very pelased with the way they turned out. 

It worked really well that the jeans were already a pink colour because the pink stiching (which didn't really take the dye, likely a synthetic thread) stands out in a way that I quite enjoy. 


Comment below to let me know what you think of the new hue. And if you decide to try this out yourself, I want to hear about it! 

What's behind door number three?

Posted by melanella on August 22, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Have you ever been a prize? I mean literally. Something someone can win? If asked me this last week, I would have to say no. But then, on Monday, August 17th, I was contestant number three in The Dating Game at The Theatre on King. The show was produced by CrackerJack Theatre, created by my good friend Ken Gibb, as part of an ongoing, monthly series of surprise theatrical presentations. This was instalment number two and I will never forget it. 




About a month ago, Ken approached me with the crazy idea of participating in a live version of The Dating Game and I was immediately game. Until I showed up at the theatre that night, roughly an hour to curtain, I knew little more than that. I had been told that I would be one of three contestants (one male, two females) vying for a date with the female bachelorette. Most importantly, I was told that I was not to tell a single soul. That’s kind of the whole point of CrackerJack Theatre : it’s a surprise! No one knows what they are in for until they dare to show up at the pre-determined time and place. It is truly unique and quite brilliant theatrical concept, and being on the inside this time around was a real thrill. 

Upon arrival, I am introduced to my fellow contestants: The female, Lindsay, I had met but surprisingly didn’t know very well. Peterborough’s theatre community is a lot like it’s queer community: small and incestuous - and she’s a part of both. The male, Tristan, I did not know. A former roommate of Ken’s, Tristan is a pierced, tattooed, generally chill dude who I was pleased to meet. The three of us very quickly settled into a comfortable banter born out of awkwardness and anxious excitement at what was ahead of us that evening. Ken ran us thought the structure of the show and then sequestered us in a small space just outside the main playing space at TTOK before inviting the audience to take their seats.


 

When the time came, we were welcomed out into the theatre one by one by our wickedly funny host, Dan Smith, who introduced us to the audience with short bios we were asked to submit before the show. Writing a bio for The Dating Game was a challenge - it was like filling out an online dating profile but with so much self-applied pressure to be funny. Like, funny funny. Like, people are going to hear this be read aloud, funny. 


I think I did ok: 




Our next contestant used to book entertainers and educational seminar leaders

for a Sex convention (where she also playfully demonstrated 

bondage and flogging equipment on attendees). 

But now a days, her day job is a lot more tame. 

She spends her Monday to Friday chatting with travel agents 

and arranging VIP services for celebrities such as 

Hugh Jackman, Mario Batali, and Slash.

On the weekends, when she’s not trying to write the 

next great Canadian musical 

or snuggling with the love of her life — her cat — she is hard at work 

launching a dating website for Queer women. #DoYouKnowEllen?


 

Not bad, right?




The Game was comprised of two rounds of predetermined questions, the answers to which were both innocent and filled with innuendo. We were asked things like, if we could climb up our family tree and be re-incarnated as a member of our family, who would it be/why? If we would travel back to any era in history, which would it be/why? What was our most embarrassing moment?


 

My favourite question to answer definitely got me the most laughs of any of my answers that night, which is honestly the most powerful performance-enhancing drug in the world.


In your opinion, what would be the most satisfying way to destroy a Tickle-Me Elmo? 




I announced to the audience that I was a little scared how quickly my answer came to mind before asking whether anyone had seen the film Fargo. My answer? Wood-chipper. And it would be most the satisfying because Elmo would be laughing the whole time. 

In round three, the Lady of the Evening got to ask each of us a question of her own devising. And they were good. Based on my bio, and perhaps a few of my answers, the Lady of the Evening asked me what B.D.S.M. stood for.


In that moment, I would have loved to be able to go back and revise my answer to the embarrassing moment question. Given my employment history, I knew in my bones 3/4 of the words in the acronym. But in that moment, I was totally stumped on the “D”. Thankfully, the audience knew and chanted it to me almost in perfect unison… 

At long last it was time for our Bachelorette to make her decision. While she weighted her options, our host polled the audience via applause-o-meter whom they thought she should choose and I’m pretty sure I got the loudest cheer. 

In the end, Contestant number two was the lucky winner of a date — and I mean real date: dinner at The Food Forest followed by drinks at The Sapphire Room. We closed the show with it’s signature kiss blown to the audience and that was that.


 

I had a few audience members come up to me afterward to tell me that they had been rooting rooting for me, that they would have chosen me and that I am very date-able (aww, shucks!) but that they didn’t know is that shortly after our bios were read, the Bachelorette and I realized that we already knew each other. Not only that, we’ve been friends for quite some time now. Em is the first person I approached to work on this site with me, back when I had only just started fleshing out the idea. (Side note: I am very much looking forward to sharing what she’s got cooking for the site). When I played offended that she didn’t choose me, just so we could go on an epic friend-date, she explained her decision logically: we’re already friends, so she can ask me out whenever she wants! It can be tough to meet new queer girls in this city, I would have done the same thing were I in her shoes. 

Besides, I still felt like a winner that night. Not only because I had a great time, shared some laughs and an all-round fantastic experience with all who were present, Em and I ended up grabbing dinner and drinks after the show. It was nice to spend some time reliving our favourite moments from the night and just catching up with each other. It’s so rare, I find, to make platonic queer lady friends in this day and age, but I am so grateful to have that in Em. Plus, she’s a total babe!



Wait. I said platonic, didn’t I? … ;) 




Wondering how their first date went? Stay tuned to the #DoYouKnowEllen? blog for a follow-up from Em and Lindsay!


P.S. You can find CrackerJack Theatre and The Sapphire Room on Facebook - and you should because they're both excellent. 

Google me, I'm not hiding.

Posted by melanella on August 16, 2015 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I was just chatting with a friend over drinks tonight about celebrity crushes and for a second, I was stumped. Who am I crushing on these days anyway? When I thought I was straight, I had all kinds of male celebrity crushes. Literally always someone. It was easy to have crushes on virtual men and thus never be expected, or worse, dared, to make a move. After a moment’s thought, I remembered my present crush and simply stated, 

“Well, Kristen Stewart. She really needs to come out, finally.” 




I’m not really much of a Twilight fan, though I have read the books and seen the films. I think I fell for KStew in the middle of watching The Runaways. Probably somewhere in this scene:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.





Ummm, yeah. Definitely in that scene. 


I came home just now to see that there was a bunch of buzz surrounding KStews recent Nylon Magazine interview in which she 'finally' addressed her sexuality. Aside from the quote I titled this post with, there was one thing she said that really resonated with me:




“I think in three or four years,

there are going to be a whole lot more people

who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out

if you’re gay or straight. It’s like,

just do your thing.

 

It was like a wake up call. Even to me, who has prayed for her to exit the closet most triumphantly. 'Cause see, the thing is, it’s not necessary. Or, at least, it shouldn't be. For seemingly forever, before she 'finally' came out, I would see tabloid photos of Ellen Page looking so wonderfully queer, out and about with her various similarly queer looking gal pals and wish for her announcement as well. She, too, wasn’t hiding. She was living her authentic life, just not “selling it” (to quote KStew once more) to the media. I can say the same, even still, for Katherine Moennig.

 

I forget, even with my proximity to the performing arts, that these women are actresses. Chameleons. It is important for them to remain versatile or risk type casting. Moreover they are public figures, and holding onto ones privacy can be near impossible, especially in the age of social media.

 

I guess what I’m trying to get at here, why I felt compelled to write and post this at 2:30 AM, is that I’m going to try and let go of my need for celebrities to label themselves publicly, as well as let go of my need for the people I encounter in my daily life to do so. The label isn’t important. It’s the bit about living authentically in the moment and not worrying so much about what it means in the grand scheme. Fluidity is real and it is perfectly acceptable. 




Back when I was in the process of coming out, whenever the topic of celebrity crushes would come up, the ones I would share aloud would often still be men. I didn’t know how to articulate how I felt looking at (or, let’s be honest, listening to) Emma Stone on screen, so instead I gushed about her Zombieland co-star Jesse Eisenberg. While I was genuinely a fan of his work, especially in his lesser known film Holy Rollers, I expressed my appreciation school girl crush style. I’d focus on his looks (he is quite cute, in a quiet/mortified by his own awkward existence sort of way), but mostly I thought he was talented and dealing with his fame in an interesting way.




“But, aren’t you a lesbian? Or does this mean that you’re bi-sexual? I don’t understand. I think you need to make up your mind.” 




My best friend simply could not reconcile within herself what all of it must mean. What does it mean? What does a crush on a male celebrity make me?


Turns out, it makes me: me. Living my authentic life, not worrying so much about where that classifies me in the grand scheme. 


How To Make a Connection with DoYouKnowEllen?

Posted by doyouknowellen@gmail.com on February 15, 2014 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Image via courting.madness@wordpress.com

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Are you underwhelmed by the match results you're getting on dating sites like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid?

Was the most exciting part of your Valentines Day Ellen Page's big announcement

Are you looking to make connections with other lesbians but you're just not sure what else to try? 

Are you new to doyouknowellen? and want to learn more about how it works?

Well, you've come to the right place! Here are some tips to help you connect with fellow lesbians in your city using DoYouKnowEllen?


5 tips for making connections via Social Media


1. When it comes to Facebook: using hashtag #doyouknowellen will make your status update visible to people not only on your friends list. You can also view others who have used this hashtag by clicking on it - who knows, maybe someone is looking for you... 




2. Posting or commenting on our Facebook activity is also a great way to reach out to a potential connection, since those actions increase your visibility and especially since the vast majority of our friends are lesbians/queer identified ladies.




3. When it comes to Twitter: Using the #doyouknowellen? hashtag will help others to find your tweet. This is also how you can find tweets by others using the hashtag. Mentioning @doyouknowellen will get you a retweet to all of our Twitter followers. 


4. Use your 140 characters carefully. Along with our hashtag or handle, make sure to mention a) an identifying feature b) where you saw them c) your city d) be charming. For example:




Dear cute short haired girl reading a Chem txtbook today @BlackHoney: wish my date had been with you instead! #Peterborough @doyouknowellen?




5. Connect with us across all social media sites: We’re also on Tumblr and Pinterest. The more you put yourself out there, the more chances you have of making a connection. 




5 tips for making connections via www.DoYouKnowEllen.webs.com 


1. Upload a clear image of your face as your profile picture. If someone has seen you around town, seeing your face might jog their memory and lead them to message you! 




2. Use keywords to let people know what you’re interested in/where they might have seen you around town. NOTE: Always be cautious when divulging your immediate, physical location online.




3. Let people know where to find you on the web. List your handles for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram - you name it. The more reachable you are, the better!




4. The more active you are on the site, the more people will see and come to know you. So, get commenting! If you are interested in writing editorial content for the site, contact us


5. Don’t be shy. If you recognize someone on the site, send them a message! You won’t know if you don’t try. What’ve you got to lose? Like anything, this can only work if people are using it. The more users we have, the more connections we can help make - so spread the word!




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