Morning Brew – Desiree Akhavan’s “Appropriate Behavior” to premiere at Sundance

Good morning! Happy Friday! First, I’d like to express my sadness over the passing of Nelson Mandela. His influence over the ending of apartheid in 1994 helped to make South Africa the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. He was a leader who believed in true equality, and that included people like us.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political liberties and the human rights of all our citizens.”

Rest in peace, Nelson. Both Dianna Agron and Kristin Chenoweth are coming back for Glee’s 100th episode. You know you are going to watch that one! Congrats to Orange is the New Black for its Writers Guild Award nominations. The Netflix show is up for Best Comedy Series, New Series, and Episodic Comedy (for two different episodes!). Other shows with lesbian characters nominated include The Good Wife, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, Saturday Night Live and Portlandia. Bridget McManus sent me this trailer because she clearly is super excited about this movie. Paz de la Huerta plays a stalkery lesbian nurse in Nurse: 3D. I’m so in. It opens February 7.

Michelle Chamuel wants you to sing with her.

Sara Quin told NME she thinks Miley Cyrus is this generation’s new Madonna. Lady Gaga would not agree. Speaking of Miley, Snooki thinks “she’s really hot.” If you loved The Slope like I did, you’ll be psyched to know that one of its writers/stars Desiree Akhavan is premiering her debut feature film, Appropriate Behavior, at Sundance. Here’s the description:

Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, politically correct bisexual and hip young Brooklynite. She fails miserably in her attempt at all identities, and being without a cliché to hold onto can be a lonely experience. She and her (secret) girlfriend Maxine have broken up. Partners in their mutual disdain for all things young, hip and “Brooklyn,” the two were inseparable and now that they’ve parted ways, Shirin has to start from scratch- starting with the unimaginable task of having to trade the idyllic lesbian haven of Park Slope for a shared artist’s loft in Bushwick where she must cohabitate with a sand castle instillation artist and her silent neo-beatnik boyfriend. Thanks to her best friend Crystal (whose sole life ambition is to be the most sexually desired person in any room she enters,) Shirin finds a job teaching filmmaking at an afterschool program – learning too late that her pupils are all under the age of 6 and barely capable of tying their own shoes, let alone holding a camera. When her no-nonsense surgeon brother reveals his plan to propose to his family-approved Iranian girlfriend, Shirin’s desperation for normalcy sends her into a downward spiral of promiscuity; jumping from one absurd romantic encounter to another. Each rendezvous ignites memories of falling in and out of love with Maxine with Brooklyn as their playground. This mental snap-book of their best and worst moments is what haunts Shirin as she takes her first steps into life after her first gay relationship. She combs over them, wondering where she went wrong and what she could have done differently, strategizing how to become the kind of woman who could have made the relationship work. des

Congrats to Desi and I can’t wait to see this. Sweden is home to Europe’s first-ever LGBT retirement housing. Gotta love those Swedes. Italian reader Lisa sent in this great trip. Actress Rosalinda Celentano has come out about her relationship with actress Simona Borrioni in a very big way. The couple posed for a spread in Vanity Fair Italy and Rosalinda shared how coming out to her parents at 18 was difficult experience (this is translated, FYI):

“Today, my parents have taken a leap forward, especially after I ended up in the community, but at 18 I had to run away from home. My mother was authoritarian, strict. I was surprised to kiss a friend. [My dad] wept, he asked me where she went wrong, he said, rather than a daughter ‘so’ – but he used that term for me that is horrible ‘lesbian’ – better an empty room. He also said that to give me the rest would take care of my father in the villa. The punishment was harsh. I also handed a letter of twenty pages which started from Adam and Eve, and from religion to decide that I was abnormal.'” vf1 vf2

Rosalinda’s parents are both famous in Italy, too, which surely makes things a little more difficult. But it sounds like things are better now, and she is very happily in love with Simona. If you missed it on Thanksgiving night, you can catch it again: Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular will air on VH1 this Saturday, December 7 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Today in Lesbianish TV: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, *Buffy (FX 7 a.m., 8 a.m.), *Ellen marathon (FX 9 a.m.), *My First Home “Reno, Nevada” (DFH 9 a.m.), *Roseanne “Home Is Where the Afghan Is” (We 10 a.m.), *Love & Hip Hop marathon (VH1 12 p.m.), *Grey’s Anatomy (Lifetime 1 p.m., 2 p.m.), The Talk (CBS 2 p.m.), The Laramie Project (HBO 2 p.m.), 8: The Mormon Proposition (Pivot 3 p.m.), *Reba “Van’s Agent” (CMT 4:30 p.m.), *Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids “Black Sheep” (TLC 6 p.m.), *Law & Order: SVU “Lunacy” (USA 6 p.m.), Jane Velez-Mitchell (HLN 7 p.m.), The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC 9 p.m.), Time of Death “Maria & Nicolle” (Showtime 9 p.m.), Being Human “If I Only Had Raw Brain” (Syfy 11 p.m.), Jack & Diane (TMC 11:40 p.m.), *Friday Night Lights “The Giving Tree” (Pivot 1 a.m.) (Thanks Roni!) *Denotes rerun