Thirsty for a Fresh Take on All Things True Blood?

WELCOME! Thirsty for a fresh take on all things True Blood? Pull up a virtual barstool at the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern where sisters Rachel and Rebecca are serving up juicy feminist analysis with a twist and opening a vein of thoughtful sociocultural dialogue on HBO's hit series.

Like the epic literary salons of eras past - theaters for conversation and debate which were, incidentally, started and run by women; where the spirited debate about the issues of the day ran as copiously as the actual spirits did - but updated for the digital age, the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is a fun forum for exploring questions ripe for discourse about the human condition & today's most crucial social issues through the medium of True Blood.

Your salonnières are not peddling liquor per se, but they are offering up new and alternative ideas informed by such diverse influences as pop culture, art, music, cultural history, Goddess studies, transformative theory, literature and poetry, and archaeomythology, filtered through the sieve of their own lived experiences as feminist women of a particular age, background, and culture.

This is a space where you - patrons and passersby alike - can view and engage with these perspectives through the lens of True Blood and contribute your own thoughts. So, no matter if you're a Truebie or a more casual viewer of True Blood, or your drink of choice is a pomegranate martini - one of Rachel's favorite cocktails to drink and Rebecca's to mix - an herbal tea, a frothy double mocha latte, or a can of Fresca (wink, wink) you're invited to join the conversation on the show's complexities in a way that can spark transformation.

Hopefully you'll find something to sink your teeth...err...straw, into! PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY ;-)


The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern is dedicated to exploring social issues and more through the lens of True Blood. As such, you may encounter:

related to the often provocative and adult themes presented by the show

If you choose to enter and participate in this virtual salon, please be prepared to do so in a thoughtful, respectful, and mature fashion with the above in mind. Click here to check out our comment policy. Thanks!


No copyright infringement is intended, all rights to True Blood belong to HBO, credit is ascribed to sites where images appearing here were originally found.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Still the Month of Love...For All!

All over town today I saw St. Patrick's Day flags flying; it's an encouraging sign of spring but it's too soon...don't get me wrong, I want to see the patches of snow here and there along with their larger, more imposing dirty pile counterparts dotting the neighborhood melt away as much as the next girl,'s still the month of love!

I can't bring myself to put out the greens until the first day of March, and while that's right around the corner, let's stay in the present -  like it or not, February is for Valentines.

I know that V-day (pun intended!!!) has both supporters and detractors, but it can't be denied that the month of cupid, chocolate and flowers kicks our culture into overdrive for the ideal of romantic love; an ideal that is usually represented in a manner consistent with heteronormativity.

That's where GLAAD comes in...
You may know that True Blood has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the category of Outstanding Drama Series. YAY TB!

Put on by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) (a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote understanding, increase acceptance and advance equality by amplifying the voice of the LGBT community, empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively) the GLAAD Media Awards are  - according to the organization - the largest, most visible LGBT gala in the nation. And this year, GLAAD is celebrating it's 25th Anniversary with awards shows held in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco bringing 5,000 attendees, corporate partners and celebrities together to recognize outstanding representations of the LGBT community in the media and GLAAD's vital work to achieve full equality.

While I was checking out GLAAD's website for information on the New York awards show (who knows, the PPT may have to make an appearance on the scene ;-) I discovered a timely piece on Valentine's Day; it's a resource kit for crafting V-Day coverage that integrates LGBT couples' romantic celebrations. While aimed at the media, I think it's such a great resource for everyone - a real awareness and sensitivity raiser - that I've pasted some of it below; click here for the whole thing, plus links to local and national organizations and resources for marriage, marriage equality, civil unions, and commitment ceremonies:

Valentine's Day Media Resource Kit

Valentine's Day receives a great deal of media attention. Print and electronic press outlets nationwide share stories of couples proclaiming their love and commitment for one another. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples are often excluded from Valentine's Day media coverage—and LGBT couples of color receive even less attention in both mainstream and people of color media. GLAAD hopes that the following resources will help you produce Valentine's Day stories that reflect the true diversity of our society by including LGBT couples in the coverage of this romantic holiday.


LGBT people and relationships are often excluded by the kinds of language media professionals choose to use. Consider the language used to describe couples in general: Does it assume that all couples are heterosexual? Does it allow for non-traditional families? Does it subtly endorse opposite-sex relationships while marginalizing same-sex commitments? GLAAD encourages media to use words and descriptions that can be universally applied to all couples – gay and straight – and that respect the significance of their commitments.

LGBT people use a variety of terms to describe their relationships and significant others, including: partner, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, lover, husband/wife, companion, same gender loving couples (for couples from communities of African descent), marriage, partnership and family, among others. We encourage you to ask people which term they would like you to use. Also, please do not put quotation marks around the description, as this implies the described relationship is somehow illegitimate.

GLAAD'S Media Reference Guide contains a comprehensive glossary of LGBT-related terminology.


A growing number of newspapers are committed to reporting on weddings, civil unions and commitment ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples. In 2008, six years after persuading The New York Times to open its Weddings/Celebrations pages to same-sex couples and launching its Announcing Equality campaign, GLAAD now reports that 1,049 newspapers – nearly 72 percent of all daily newspapers in the United States – now accept wedding and/or commitment ceremony announcements for gay and lesbian couples. In late 2002, only 70 newspapers said they would print such announcements.


In reporting on LGBT couples, please also remember that they are as diverse as the rest of society, crossing lines of gender, race, age, income, class, family structure, religion, geography and political affiliation. We encourage you to reflect this diversity in your coverage.


Please consider integrating LGBT couples into your Valentine's Day feature story. You might cover topics such as:

- Couples looking back at how they met

- Valentine's Day weddings and anniversaries

- Dating trends (meeting online, dating services, blind dates, etc.)

- Anniversaries of marriage equality legislation: Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), Washington, D.C. (2009) and New Hampshire (2009)

- Valentine's Day events for singles

- Long-distance relationships

- Surprise marriage proposals on Valentine's Day

- Retired couples re-igniting romance

- Planning a Valentine's Day getaway

- Couples' favorite poems, songs, vacation spots, etc.

- Choosing the perfect Valentine's Day gift

- High school sweethearts

- Celebrity couples and break-ups

- Wedding-day successes and disasters

- Balancing romance and family obligations

- Workplace romances

- Bi-national couples’ stories

- Making Valentine’s Day dinner reservations – especially at the last minute

-Finding a babysitter on Valentine’s Day


- Include romantic lesbian/gay-owned restaurants in your area in your list of Valentines Day dating recommendations.

- Include lesbian/gay-themed comedies or dramas in your list of all-time most romantic movies.

- List relationship development books for same-sex couples in features about keeping romance alive.

- Talk to local jewelry stores, wedding planners, bakeries, florists and other companies that offer services and products for same-sex couples' commitment ceremonies.

- Talk to pastors who conduct same-sex ceremonies at inclusive churches, particularly in communities of color.

So I'm thinkin', in our current media and cultural climate, how might True Blood couples like...

Lafayette and Jesus

Russell and Talbot

Sophie-Ann and Hadley
...negotiate the joys and pitfalls of Valentine's Day? Would there be venues for their tales of couplehood to be heard, validated, celebrated?

I make no judgement on these relationship in the sense that I'm neither lifting them up as model unions nor denouncing them for their flaws; these are not perfect relationships (if there were such a thing) but I have singled these couples out for a reason.

Sure, hooking up is fun and who am I to say that recreational sex is bad (I wouldn't say that, but that's neither here nor there) whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, queer, or...Pamsexual (OK, OK, a silly play on words - I mean pansexual which is the way Kristin Bauer van Straten describes her character Pam). But for the purposes of this post, hook-ups aren't what I'm talking about... 

Pam and Yvetta
Nor am I referring to vampire blood-induced homoerotic dream sequences played out for comic impact:

Bill and Sam...saved by the cell!
 The reason I chose to highlight Russell & Talbot, Sophie-Ann & Hadley and Lafayette & Jesus is that despite the problems of representation that we see in some homosexual couples and couplings (i.e. the camera cuts away from love scenes with Lafayette & Jesus just before, as Nelsan likes to say, they "do the do" yet the camera stays fixed as Eric, posing as a gay man, graphically "seduces" and stakes Talbot, etc.), in each of these couples, Alan Ball and the writers have allowed us to see moments of true caring and connection and moments of tenderness - physical and otherwise. Evil as he is, Russell's pain and grief at Talbot's death is palpable. As it turns out, Hadley really is the closest person to Sophie-Ann, human, vampire, or otherwise. Lafayette may just be willing to get out of the player game for Jesus.

We don't often see complex and nuanced homosexual relationships on TV, but that's changing. Back in October fellow TB blogger sunnynala posted on True Blood Underground, True Blood found to be the most inclusive television program of LGBT characters. That piece also draws from GLAAD - as mine does - and gives good stats on LGBT characters on broadcast and cable TV plus a good discussion in the comments section  on the topic.  

Even Sookie and Bill - who at the end of S2, were it not for the no-good-rapscallion-V-head weres kidnapping the groom-to-be would have been celebrating a very special engagement, since human-vampire marriage does not yet enjoy universal marriage equality in the world of True Blood - bring issues of injustice that are relevant to the LGBT community to the fore...

.reinforcing for me that, as Alan Ball says, while the vampires are not stand-ins for the LGBT community per se; the show is conveying a broader message more like that of Martin Luther King, Jr., "Injustice anywhere (and to anyone) is a threat to justice everywhere (and to everyone)". [parenthetical phrases are mine, but I think are in MLK's spirit].

On that note, nighty-night all!

~ Rachel


  1. Hey ladies, thanks for linking me! I followed a hit from your blog and have discovered a treasure trove. I shall be busy reading for days, I'm sure. Mega kudos for a fun and fascinating Truebie blog!

    Adding you to my blogroll. <3

  2. So happy to hear you're enjoying our blog! We will be having a great deal of fun reading through your writing as well! Let's keep the dialogue going...

  3. Absolutely! I am particularly interested in your discourses on the relationships between the women of TB and how we can relate them to the relationships with the women in our own lives. A MUCH undervalued conversation in our society.

  4. We'd love to hear more of your thoughts on that, sunnynala, in the context of TB & in general. Couldn't agree with you more that, unless sensationalized in some way, women's relationships with each other are undervalued in general and there's not much space open at this point in our culture for a conversation about women-relating-to-women.

  5. Let's prove the haters and naysayers wrong, and keep this women-to-women dialogue and discourse building going...who knows what might happen...guys welcome too, of course ;-)