Murphy's Law: A Look at How Inclusion of LGBTQ Characters and Narratives Serves as a Distinct Characteristic of Ryan Murphy's Catalog

Ryan Murphy’s catalog is a diverse one. A drama about plastic surgeons, a horror anthology, a sitcom about a gay couple, and a dramedy about singing misfits are just some of the things one finds while scrolling through his IMDb page. But there is at least one thing all of these programs have in common: they each take in-depth looks at issues of identity and–in particular–queer identity. Every show Murphy has been at the helm of has not only featured at least one LGBTQ character, but has also built narratives around those characters that allowed them to be full-realized: queer but also more than that and able to deal with issues directly tied to their sexualities and those that are not.

“The defining compliment”: The “Cool Girl” Label in Relation to Postfeminism, Femininity, and Star Image

On March 12th, 2012, the three main cast members of The Hunger Games franchise make an appearance at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles. Three minutes into the Q&A, the camera catches Jennifer Lawrence tell Josh Hutcherson, out of the corner of her mouth, that she forgot to shave her armpits, explaining why she has her arms pinned to her sides (WestfieldUS). Nearly a year later, on February 24th, 2013, Lawrence is being interviewed on the red carpet of the 85th annual Academy Awards and tells Ryan Seacrest that she is starving, desperately asking if there is food at the show. Seacrest laughs, assuring her that there is a 12-plate dinner when it is over. Later that night, Lawrence wins the award for Best Actress and trips on her way up the stairs.

These instances are just a few of many that have made Jennifer Lawrence one of the most talked about and well-liked actresses in the business today. People love her. They think she is funny, relatable, quirky–a Cool Girl. Because that is the way she comes off in interviews, on red carpets, and when giving acceptance speeches. Lawrence’s entire public persona is based around being as much of a Cool Girl as possible.

This Program is Rated TVMASLV: How the Scariest Thing About 'American Horror Story' Is Its Reinforcement of Harmful Representations of Race, Gender, and Sexuality

The world of horror is a complex place. Full of grotesque violence, complicated depictions of female characters, and an almost archaic stance on sexual activity (if you even have sex, by horror movie logic, that typically means you deserve to be murdered), it’s a place rife with opportunities for politically problematic situations. And American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s FX anthology series, is no exception.

A Day With the Texas Rollergirls

A homemade sign at the end of Trade Center Drive reads “ROLLER DERBY TONIGHT.” It’s an All-Star night at “The Blood Shed,” the Texas Rollergirls’ home facility, and the Texecutioners will be taking on a team from Tampa at 6PM.

Journalist Profile: Kate Fagan

It’s spring 2013 and ESPN writer Kate Fagan is driving home to New York from Bristol, Connecticut. She has just come from closing the latest issue of ESPN: The Magazine. Her feature on Brittney Griner–the WNBA’s No. 1 pick and an out lesbian–is the cover story. 

And then it hits her. She, with the help of several others, just did something big.

UT students flaunt talent in annual fashion show

There is something electric about a fashion show. People bustle around everywhere. Lights flash on and off. Music pounds out of speakers. Emotions run high.

This was the scene at the Frank Erwin Center on April 23rd, as the University Fashion Group (UFG) and UT’s School of Human Ecology Textiles and Apparel division put on their steadily growing annual fashion show.

Southern Hospitality: How Austin’s Quirky Community is Moving South

A busy night at Moontower Saloon doesn’t feel too far removed from a small-town keg party. You drive up a dirt path, where a man shines a flashlight in your car, checking IDs. You keep moving on back to the vast parking lot that is really just a large plot of dirt. And then, on foot, you work your way back to the bar, where people are everywhere, leaning over pool tables and crowded around fire pits. A few play washers over by the outdoor bathrooms that are fashioned to look like outhouses, but are actually quite clean. It’s a little too cold for sand volleyball, but the option’s there if you want it.

Namaste: An Austin Yoga Guide

Photo: Katie Arcos

Photo: Katie Arcos

Myself and a team of fellow journalists put together this multimedia package on various types of yoga offered in Austin. I wrote the pieces on aerial and laughter yoga, after participating in both. The entire package can be viewed here

It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World: A Look at the Experience of Female Rock Musicians

Women have always played rock and roll. From ‘60s wailers like Janis Joplin, to ‘70s punk legends like Patti Smith, to ‘80s guitar wizards like Joan Jett and Lita Ford, all the way to ‘90s alt-rock darlings like Courtney Love, each decade has seen some key female artists in the genre.

Still, the fact remains that rock and roll has always been almost exclusively an all-boys club.