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Caitlyn Jenner Confronts A Reality Star's Biggest Fear - Viewer Apathy

Caitlyn.jenner2Caitlyn Jenner is unhappy.  Only 750,000 viewers tuned in for the first episode of the second season of her E! reality show I Am Cait.  Last summer the show debuted to an audience of 2.5 million, but by the end of the season it was drawing half that number.  After Diane Sawyer's interview with Jenner drew an audience of 17 million last May and her pin-up girl Vanity Fair cover attracted worldwide attention, she probably expected the public's fascination to continue unabated.  But was it fascination or just rubber necking?  She blamed the E! network for not promoting her show enough, but perhaps the public's attention has been scattered by the oversaturation of shows about transgendered individuals.  Or perhaps she should blame Donald Trump's political campaign for diverting the public's attention.

 

Caitlyn.jennerAn apathetic public is anathema to a reality star.  In their mind, criticism, even ridicule, is preferred over a lack of interest.  In Caitlyn's case it appears that her biggest challenge isn't acceptance by the public but, rather, their dwindling interest.  Her unhappiness belies her boasting that her transition is a personal journey.   It's as if she feels we have an obligation to go on the journey with her.  (However, she still has six million followers on Instagram, and 3.8 million on Twitter.)  Yet, for a population estimated at less than 1 million, there's been an overload of media coverage about the transgender experience, e.g., The Netflix show Transparent, Laverne Cox on Orange is the New Black, and her appearance on the cover of TIME Magazine, the reality series Becoming Us on ABC Family and I Am Jazz on TLC, and the Oscar-nominated movie The Danish Girl.  Who knows, because of her need for attention, perhaps Jenner will decide to go back to being a he just for the headlines it would create.

 

Bruce.caitlyn.jennerAnd then there's the issue of Cait's sexual orientation.  Living as Bruce she claim's he was straight, and now as a woman she wants us to believe that she continues to be heterosexual.  I'm not buying it.  Sexual orientation doesn't simply change because of hormone treatment, some reconstructive surgery, changing into a dress and wearing makeup.  She should still retain Bruce's  attraction to women, and, therefore, now be a lesbian.  Speculation, however, is that Bruce was closeted and his homophobia ran so deep that he went the transgendered route so that he could be with a man.  And although she wants to be treated like a "normal" woman, what normal woman has a penis?  If she actually was a heterosexual male in her former life how is she planning to deal with a man's heterosexual urges?  Now, that would be very interesting to watch!

 

 

 

 

    


Andrew Sullivan Passes Torch to New Generation of Gay Intelligentsia

Andrewsullivan.bear At the start of 2015 political pundit Andrew Sullivan announced that he had stopped blogging, put an end to his social media presence and would no longer make appearances on current affairs shows, saying that the rigors of blogging nearly killed him (he felt working all day long, i.e. a full-time job, was too demanding).  The need to constantly produce content for the 40,000 readers of his blog, The Dish, wasn't worth sacrificing his health (physical and mental).  Reading this I pondered whether his "retirement" was more of a tacit admission by the 52-year-old Brit that he had been crowded off the stage by a new generation of young, smart, gay political pundits.

 

Andrewsullivan.young
The fair-haired boy, circa 1990

 

25 years ago, in a world that was non-digital and where being out in the workplace was rare, Sullivan pretty much had the stage to himself (activist Michelangelo Signorile, who wrote for Out Week, also drew attention).  As the youthful editor of The New Republic, he peppered his opinion pieces with lyrics from the Pet Shop Boys;   Sullivan also regularly wrote of the challenges he faced as a practicing Catholic trying to reconcile his sexual orientation with the Church's homophobic teachings.  His gay cachet likely drew Calvin Klein to the pages of the magazine as the company advertised on the back cover of the publication, with ads featuring sexy Antonio Sabato, Jr. (news/current affairs magazine weren't a typical place to see homoerotic underwear ads).  As part of an ad campaign by Gap featuring young movers and shakers, he was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

 

Andrew.sullivan.gap.ad 

 Xnew_republic

 

And although he was pilloried by some in the gay community for his conservative political leanings, and for defending George W. Bush's policies, his legacy will likely be his foresight when it came to the issue of same-sex marriage.  Way back in 1989 he wrote a cover story for The New Republic in which he posited that same-sex marriage was a way for gay men and lesbians to gain mainstream acceptance, since the desire to "settle down" would please family values conservatives and put the lie to the religious right's contention that gay men were condemned to lives of  anonymous sex and AIDS.  (In 2009 Sullivan married his partner.)

 

Newrepublic.thecaseforgaymarriage 

 

Although there are more than a dozen gay pundits today, it was Josh Barro of the NY Times who was the inspiration for this post.  The 31-year-old Barro, who is gay, Harvard educated, cute and has conservative political leanings, brought to mind an Andrew Sullivan of the 21st century.  (And who knows, like Sullivan, perhaps he'll embrace "bear" culture when he gets older).

 

Josh.barro

 

Barro is the youngest of seventeen personalities I think of as today's gay "intelligentsia", providing thoughtful commentary to LGBT followers as well as the general public.  Their median age is 44.  The best-known are Rachel Maddow and Nate Silver, both of whom have more than one million Twitter followers.  (Despite no longer being active on Twitter, Andrew Sullivan still has 110,000 followers.)  However, Chris Geidner, despite having considerably less followers, has by far the most tweets, with 157,000.

 

Gay.intelligentsia

 

 

 

 

 


Charles Busch Pays Tribute to the Leading Ladies of Cabaret

Recently I attended a one-night-only performance by Charles Busch, which was part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's American Songbook series.  The show, titled "The Lady at the Mic", celebrated the repertoire of Julie Wilson, Elaine Stritch, Mary Cleere Haran and Polly Bergen (and Joan Rivers was thrown in for good measure). 

 

CharlesBusch.Glen Hanson drawing

 

First, the positives:

  • Charles Busch - I love his stories and his female persona.  He conveys warmth and graciousness, with little of the crassness or bitchiness that is so often part of the routine of men who perform in drag.
  • The Venue - This was my first time at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room (in the Time Warner Center).  Rather than there being a wall behind the stage, there's a huge window that looks out onto Central Park South and 59th St., which is a pretty spectacular view.

 

Appelroom.jazzlincolncenter

 

  • Tom Judson - Busch's accompanist of the past four years, Judson is talented and sexy - even more so after I looked him up on Google Images.  Wow, how did he escape my attention all these years (similar to the reaction I had last year about singer-songwriter Matt Alber)?

 

Charlesbusch.tomjudson

 

Now, the negatives:

  • Charles Busch - Singing is not Busch's strength, at least not tonight.  Perhaps he had a cold since his voice was a bit ragged and he couldn't hit the high notes.  Thankfully, probably well aware of his limitations, his set was interspersed with his witty repartee and Tom Judson's contributions, so his singing was tolerable.  Also, during some of the less inspired songs my mind would drift as I gazed out at the cityscape stretching out behind the stage.
  • The Venue - Although the physical space is aesthetically pleasing, the seats were squashed together.  The seats themselves were chair-stools, so your feet couldn't touch the ground (even those of us who are six feet tall), which became a bit uncomfortable after about 10 minutes.  Also, the seats weren't very wide.  I've been more comfortable flying coach.
  •  Tom Judson - After the photos I saw on Google Images, it was a disappointment that he wasn't shirtless.

 

Tomjudson.shirtless

 

Nonetheless, the positives outweighed the negatives, and, anyway, an evening spent with Charles Busch is an entertaining one, so I went home with a smile.


From the Twisted, Gay Mind of Ryan Murphy ...

Scream.queens.nickjonas American.horror.story.hotelEarlier this year I wrote a post about gay personalities who at one point in their careers did something that turned them into villains.  Gay screenwriter/director/producer Ryan Murphy, the creative force behind Nip/Tuck and Glee, wasn't on this list.  However, there is something deeply disturbing about two of his shows currently on TV, American Horror Story (in its fourth season) and Scream Queens, that fetishize sociopathic behavior.  (He no doubt got a hard-on from movies such as Saw or Human Centipede.)  What's further troubling is that the entertainment industry enables his demented mind by airing these vile shows.  Because of my strong distaste for watching gratuitous violence as a form of entertainment, I've watched neither, but a few friends have filled me in on the sickening content.  

 

It puzzles me that we recoil in horror at the real-life slaughter carried out on a regular basis in this country, or the atrocities that ISIS publicizes through social media, yet embrace fictional portrayals of inhumanity shown on TV (many of which are celebrated by critics).  Weren't gay men once celebrated for their style and class?  And while kudos go to Murphy for his gay storylines and homoerotic scenarios, this is neutralized when his gay characters end up being raped, impaled or sliced up with axes.  I suppose this is just another way in which LGBTs are assimilating into the general population (or lowering themselves into it). 

 

Ryanmurphy

 

Fast-forward to 2018.  In a captivating profile of Murphy in The New Yorker, he commented that now that he and his husband are raising children he was having second thoughts about the bloody violence shown in many of his productions.  That was encouraging to read, but his critically-acclaimed mini-series The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which aired shortly before the profile was published, continued his glorification of murder.

 

Versace mini series_cunanan
 

I prefer gay men and lesbians who use their talents to bring beauty and laughter to the world, persons such as Bob Mackie, Tommy Tune, Lily Tomlin, or Ellen DeGeneres, rather than assault viewers with the horrors of sociopaths Murphy revels in.  In a previous post I called Bravo's Andy Cohen to task for celebrating anti-social behavior with his dreadful Housewives of (Every City in America) series.  Yet, compared to what Murphy creates, Housewives is like The Brady Bunch

 

Real housewives nyc

 

 


Not Everything Neil Patrick Harris Appears In Turns to Gold - "Best Time Ever" Variety Show Flops

Best.time.everIf ever there was a show created with middle America in mind, this is it.  NBC's mess of a variety show, starring Neil Patrick Harris, brings to mind a cross between America's Funniest Home Videos, the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, and Sabado Gigante.  It's the type of show you might expect rambunctious kids with no adult supervision to throw together.  Harris, vying with Ellen DeGeneres for the title of America's most ubiquitous gay personality, is never off camera.  (The term "overstaying your welcome" easily comes to mind.)  Each show has a celebrity host - the first was Reese Witherspoon, the second telecast featured Alec Baldwin, both who were woefully underutilized.  (I was embarrassed for them.)  And too much time is spent with contrived audience participation segments.

 

Gloriagaynor.neilpatrickharrisWhen he hosted the Tony Awards to great acclaim, NPH's patter was peppered with gay references, but watching him here you'd never know he was gay.  For one thing, he didn't acknowledge his husband seated in the audience (on the aisle) although he stood by him a number of times during an opening skit.  And the closest tribute to gay culture was Gloria Gaynor (pictured, left) singing I Will Survive for a tired karaoke competition, which was de-gayed by featuring families from Ohio, Tennessee and Texas who competed from their living rooms.  Actually, there was one gay personality who made an appearance - Carrot Top; however, after getting all of 10 seconds of screen time he was never seen again (which is a good thing.)  At the end of the second show there was a shout-out to the NYC Gay Men's Chorus for performing, but I had no recollection of them appearing.

 

Thumbs.downThe show closes with a segment titled "Best Closing Ever," but a better name might be "Attention Deficit on Parade" as it's a three-minute mash-up of stunts and acrobatic acts that you'd expect to see on America's Got Talent.  Bottom line, this show is in desperate need of an infusion of gay sensibility to make it less cringe-worthy to watch.  A lot of energy was expended to create a product with little entertainment value to speak of.  However, NPH's toddlers might find it captivating.

 

 

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Arriving Late to Singer Matt Alber's Fan Club

Matt.alber.endoftheworldOne Friday not long ago I was having a cocktail after work with my friend Maury at our neighborhood haunt, the Monster, when a music video got my attention.  (It came in the middle of a string of dreadful videos from the 80s.)  In it a weary looking, but sexy, male singer is settling into a barber's chair.  Near the end of the video a handsome man in a suit enters the barber shop and the two of them proceed to do a beautiful slow dance together, ending with the stranger dipping the other and they kiss softly.  Maury told me the song, End of the World, was from 2008 - and the singer was openly gay.  His name was Matt Alber and he used to sing with the all-male choral group Chanticleer.  He reminded me of a hunkier version of Jeremy Piven.

 

Matt.alber.lincolncenter 

 

Because the sound of the video at the bar was muted (the show tune queens gathered around the piano wouldn't stand for audio competition!) I went onto You Tube when I got home and listened to End of the World, which was heartachingly beautiful.  I also watched his live performances and some other videos.  I especially liked Handsome Man and Tightrope (dance re-mix).  With a sweet face, friendly eyes, and lightly bearlike physique, Alber has a mellow, plaintive voice that brings to mind a cross between kd lang and Rufus Wainwright.  He also has a very approachable demeanor. 

 

Although Alber has recorded four CDs, he's pretty much under the radar, perhaps because his last two album were produced and distributed independently.  (His most viewed video, Handsome Man, has generated less than 500,000 views, making it practically unwatched by You Tube standards.)  This is probably the reason he's not as well known as other gay artists such as Jake Shears, Sam Smith or Adam Lambert.  In fact, in a blog post about "50 Great Gay Music Artists" on The Backlot from earlier this year, Matt wasn't counted among them (however, one commenter protested his exclusion).  But a few years earlier he was one of Out Magazine's "Hottest 100 Out & Proud Celebrities."  And he's developed a following in the bear community.  I think that the fact that he's not widely known adds to his appeal.  

 

Matt.alber.handsomeman
"Handsome Man"
Matt.alber.randyreport
"Tightrope"

Matt.alber.at.piano


MetroSource Magazine Celebrates Its 25th Year

Metrosource.logoMetrosource is a general interest magazine edited for the urbane gay male.  Published every other month, it competes for advertising dollars with Out, The Advocate and, to a lesser degree, Next (in New York).  Like Next, MetroSource is free, available largely at bars and restaurants in neighborhoods that cater to gay residents and tourists.  The publication covers entertainment, shopping, home design, travel and health/fitness.  The back of the magazine (comprising about one-quarter of an issue's total pages) has paid listings for local service providers such as accountants, doctors, lawyers, dentists, therapists, plastic surgeons, etc. - but no escorts (which is Next's bread and butter).  In its 25th year, MetroSource has been publishing longer than Next or Out and has outlived Genre, Instinct and HX (a competitor of Next).  The guiding force behind this enterprise for all these years has been owner and publisher, Rob Davis.

 

Metrosource.stevegrand2
June/July 2015

 

Metrosource.christophermeloni.spring2002
Spring 2002

 

Metrosource.newsy
Aug/Sept 2008

 

MetroSource is a handsome publication edited with an affluent reader in mind (but because of its free distribution, who knows who actually picks it up and reads it).  Unlike Out and The Advocate, Metrosource devotes little coverage to "hard" news (no pun intended - or perhaps it was).  Of course, being a magazine targeted to gay men, every issue can be counted on to have some eye candy in its pages.

 

Metrosource.swimmingpool
June/July 2008

 

Metrosource.bathtub
Spring 2005

 

Ben.cohen.metrosource 

 

The magazine has three featured columnists, one of which, David Dean Bortrell, I think bears a striking resemblance to me - what do you think?

 

Daviddeanberilu


In addition to sexy men, the magazine also celebrates our female icons, including the likes of Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Kylie Minogue and Sarah Jessica Parker and her gal pals.

 

Metorsource.margaretcho

 

 Metrosource.kathygriffin

 

 Metrosource.kylieminogue

 

 

MetroSource.sexandcity.Winter2004
Dec/Jan 2004 issue (Sarah Jessica Parker looks peculiar, almost like it's an impersonator)

 

In closing, here's a gallery of more tantalizing covers and editorial pages ...

 

Metrosource.gaypride2003
Summer 2003

 

Metrosource.javelin
Summer 2002

 

Metrosource.rumrickey
Feb/March 2002

 

Metrosource.gail

 

Metrosource.summer2002prideissue
Summer 2002

 

MetroSource.AprilMay2005
April/May 2005

 

Metrosource.aprmay05
April/May 2005

 

MetroSource.Summer2004
Summer 2004

 

MetroSource.JunJulAug2004
Summer 2004

 

Metrosource.febmarch2002
Feb/March 2002

 

Metrosource.fall2001
Fall 2001

 

MetroSource.Spring1998
Spring 1998

 

MetroSource.Fall1997
Fall 1997

 

 


2015 Oscars Photo Montage

2015oscarsI was thoroughly entertained by this year's Academy Awards telecast (despite host Neil Patrick Harris' annoying Oscar predictions routine that he dragged out for the entire show).  First, I watched it live, and then re-watched it a few more times.  I've already written a more lengthy review of what I liked, but here are a few dozen photos (taken from my TV screen) that didn't find a place in it that I thought were worthy of sharing.

 

 

Nph.oscars.host
This was NPH's first time hosting the Oscars but he's not new to Hollywood as he's appeared in 20 films, including last year's "Gone Girl" (a hit) and "A Million Ways to Die in the West" (a bomb).

 

2015oscars.moving.pictures
The show's "Moving Pictures" opening

 

2015oscars.intor
NPH surrounded by Marilyns during the opening extravaganza.

 

Davidoyelo.oscars
Although "Selma's" David Oyelowo didn't get an Oscar nomination he received the most screen time of any actor, with audience shots, time on stage to present an award and here with NPH discussing his British accent.

 

John.legend.oscars
36-year-old John Legend looks 15 years younger.

 

Julianne.moore.2015academyaw
Unlike David Oyelowo and Chris Pine, who had tears running down their face, Julianne Moore's emotions during the performance of "Glory" were limited to watery eyes.

 

Gaga.admirer.oscars
Lady Gaga wipes lipstick from the cheek of her mystery man - father, chaperone, confessor, accountant, record exec?

 

GagaOverJulieAndrews
One of the high points of the telecast was Julie Andrew's gracious reception of Lady Gaga after her rousing "Sound of Music" medley.
 
Emma.stone.2015oscars
Thought bubble: "How in the hell did J-Lo get a seat next to Meryl Streep?"

 

Reese.witherspoon.2015academyaw
Unlike others, Reese Witherspoon main-  her composure during Common's and John Legend's performance.
 
Oscars.audience
The fellow seated behind Bradley Cooper made the most of his on-camera opportunity by making eye contact with millions of viewers.
 
 
Richard.linklater.boyhood
Richard Linklater? I thought this was the president of Bolivia!

 

Miles.teller.oscars
Robert Mitchum lookalike, "Whiplash" actor Miles Teller.

 

Nicole.kidman.clapping.2015oscars
And the Oscar for Most Peculiar Way of Clapping goes to ... Nicole Kidman.

 

Zero_anthony.quinonez
"Zero", the lobby boy from "Grand Budapest Hotel".
 
 
Rita.ora.grateful
After watching Rita Ora's performance of Best Song nominee "Grateful" I bought it on iTunes.

 

Laura.dern.2015oscars
Laura Dern reacts to her second Best Actress nomination.

 

Julianne.moore.best.actress
A lovely moment between husband and wife a split second after Julianne Moore won the Oscar for Best Actress.

 

Cate.blanchett.2015oscars
Perhaps the most peculiar thing said at the podium was Cate Blanchett saying "Okie-dokey, Smokey" as she opened the envelope for Best Actor.

 

Eddie.redmayne.2015academyaw
Eddie Redmayne and wife a few seconds before he won the Oscar for Best Actor.

 

Eddie.redmayne.best.actor
And a few seconds after his name was called ...

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things ... About the 2015 Oscars

Neilpatrickharris.briefsNeil Patrick Harris put another notch on his bed post after his latest hosting conquest - this time acting as ringmaster at the Academy Awards for the first time.  And while I like him just fine as an actor, his ubiquity as the go-to awards show host has worn thin.  I don't know, he's a bit too "clever" for my taste.  (And I found the routine about his Oscars picks, that dragged on throughout the show, particularly annoying).  Happily, I don't watch the telecast because of the host.  In honor of The Sound of Music's 50th anniversary (see below), here are a few of my favorite things ... about the telecast:

 

2015oscars

 

  • The three Chris' all looked dashing: Pine, Evans and Pratt.  (Too bad Chris Hemsworth wasn't in attendance.)

 

Chris.pine.2015oscars

 Chris.evans.oscars

 Chris.pratt.oscars

 

  • As did the three black actors, all Brits, whose names I can never remember: Daniel Oyelowo, Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor.  Of the three, Oyelowo had by far the most screen time, constantly shown in shots scanning the audience (and he always knew he was on camera).

 

David.oyeolo

 

Chiwetel.Ejiofor.2015oscars

 Idris.elba.oscars

 

  • And Lupita Nyong'o also brought her style and grace to the podium ...

 

Lupita.nyongo.2015oscars

 

  • Speaking of style and grace, Emma Stone looked regal and absolutely stunning  with her red hair and porcelain skin creating such a beautiful effect.  This may be my favorite photo of the entire telecast.

 

Emmastone.academyawards

 

  • The most adorable camera shot of the telecast had to be this one of Eddie Redmayne, who later won the Oscar for Best Actor.

 

Eddie.redmayne.2015oscars

 

  • Meryl Streep's intro to the "In Memoriam" segment was so touching and beautifully presented, like hearing a heartfelt eulogy.  I've replayed it repeatedly.  

 

Meryl.streep.2015oscars

 

  • Has there ever been a more jarring juxtaposition between two nominated songs than the frenetic Everything Is Awesome (from The Lego Movie) and Glen Campbell's mournful I'm Not Going to Miss You (from the documentary about his dealing with Alzheimer's Disease)?  The Campbell ballad, sung by Tim McGraw, brought to mind the deeply touching song Keep Me In Your Heart by Warren Zevon that was performed at the 2004 Grammys after his death.

 

Awesome.2015oscars

 Tim.mcgraw.2015oscars 

 

  • One year after Pink wowed the audience with her rendition of Over the Rainbow, Lady Gaga did the same with her loving medley of songs from the Sound of Music (which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year).  However, the performance was marred for me by the sight of Gaga's numerous tattoos.  Not quite as numerous as Adam Levine's, but nonetheless a jarring disconnect from the movie.  The performance was capped off by Julie Andrew's warm embrace of Gaga.

 

Ladygaga.soundofmusic

 Ladygaga.oscars.soundofmusic

 

Lady.gaga_julie.andrews

 

  • Most Amusing Acceptance Speech - The director of Ida rambled on about the juxtaposition between the grim, gray world portrayed in the film in comparison to the glitz of Hollywood (which he referred to as "the happy center of noise and world attention").  Then he amiably spoke of his dead wife, parents and relatives and then mentioned his children (who, he added, "are all still alive").

 

Director.of.ida

 

  • Most Moving Acceptance Speech - Graham Moore (who won Best Adapted screenplay for Imitation Game) observed how unfair it was that he was getting accolades rather than Alan Turing, who was persecuted for being gay and committed suicide.  Moore then revealed that he contemplated suicide at the age of 16.  He urged young gay people out of the mainstream to "stay weird, stay different". 

 

Graham.moore.2015oscars

 

  • Looking at NPH in his tight wine-colored tux made me uncomfortable because I felt confined.  Reminded me of a little kid in a snowsuit.

 

Nph.tight.tuxedo 

 

  • Despite what I said earlier, I actually chuckled at a number of NPH's quips.  For instance in mentioning the gift bags given to nominees he noted that the $160,000 worth of merchandise and gift certificates in every bag included "an armored car ride to safety when the revolution comes".  (Julianne Moore loved that one).

 

Julianne.moore.2015oscars

 

  • In introducing Channing Tatum: "He's the real deal, pants down, I mean hands down."

 

Channing.tatum.2015oscars

 

  • The winner of the Best Documentary Short, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, wore a Cher-worthy gown covered with fur balls.  After she left the podium NPH said, "I liked that dress.  It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that."  (One thing he didn't joke about, however, was the Sony hacking debacle from the end of last year.)

 

Black.fur.balls.gown.2015academyawards

 

  • Gay Presence: Besides NPH, other gay persons who got camera time included the singing duo Tegan & Sara and journalist Glenn Greenwald.  (I originally listed Graham Moore, the Best Adapted Screenplay winner, as being gay but he told reporters that he wasn't.)  Additionally, Terrence Howard and Common mentioned gay rights during their time at the podium.

 

Glenn.greenwald.oscars

 

Tegan.sara.justjared

 

  • Reese Witherspoon presented a few minutes after a TV promo aired for a new ABC drama starring ex-husband, Ryan Philippe ...

 

Reese.witherspoon.2015oscars

 

Ryan.philippe

 

  • I so enjoyed Adam Levine's charged performance of his Best Song nominee Lost Stars.  This was the first time I was hearing the song and after replaying this clip countless times I ended up buying the song on iTunes (as I also did with Rita Ora's nominated song Grateful).

 

Adam.levine_lost.stars

 

Adam.levine.lost.stars

 Adam.levine.2015academyawards

 Adamlevine.loststars

 Rita.ora.oscars

 

  • I chuckled over diminutive Kevin Hart being one of the presenters for Best Animated Short (and I scratched my head over his choice of formal wear).

 

Kevin.hart.animated.short

 

  • Finally, regardless of what was happening up on stage Robert Duvall wore the same blank expression.

 

Robert.duvall.oscars

 

If you love the Oscars, you may find my recaps from 2014, 2013 and  2012 of interest.


Gaydom's Basket of Deplorables

Chrishughes.newrepublicAt the end of 2014, Chris Hughes, millionaire owner of the New Republic (and a co-founder of Facebook), generated a torrent of bad press when he announced significant changes at the revered political publication (made with a digital future in mind).  This resulted in mass staff resignations and recriminations.  Hughes is just one of many accomplished LGBT personalities knocked off their pedestal, at least temporarily, by their words, actions or overbearing personality.  Perhaps because we view openly-gay persons who are in the public eye as an inspiration (or at least I do), it stings more when they stumble than when straight movers and shakers slip up.  What follows is a list of others who have trip, stumbled and fallen ...

 

 

TARNISHED BY THEIR WORDS ...

  • Milo Yiannopoulos - The homosexual version of the loathsome Ann Coulter, both having built their careers by spewing invective.  However, he's not nearly the threat ultra-liberals believe him to be; he's just a silly queen/media whore.  I don't believe that he has any deep political convictions, he just knows how to bait those who are hyper-sensitive, and reap the attention from their shock.  These reactions are his oxygen, without them he wouldn't survive. 

 

Milo yiannopoulos

 

  • Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana - The famed Italian design duo, known for their sizzling fashion ads featuring European soccer and rugby players, were excoriated by every gay celeb under the sun after declaring that children born through in vitro fertilization were "children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteruses for rent, semen chosen from a catalog."

 

Dolce.gabbano

 

  • Don Lemon - CNN anchor who the Columbia Journalism Review chose as the worst journalist in 2014 because of his many on-air gaffes and “cringe-worthy blunders.”

 

Don.lemon.cnn

 

  • Richard Chamberlain - In a 2010 interview in the Advocate the actor, now 80, advised gay leading-type actors to stay in the closet.

 

Richard.chamberlain

 

  • Michelle Shocked - The folk singer made somewhat incoherent anti-gay remarks during a 2013 concert at a San Francisco coffee house.  Once claiming to be a lesbian, she became a born-again Christian, which began her conversion to homophobe.

 

Michelle.shocked

 

  • Quentin Crisp - A British writer and gadabout, Crisp wasn't supportive of gay rights and claimed that being gay was a disease.  Perhaps it was a generational thing.  He died in 1999 one month shy of his 91st birthday.

 

Quentin.crisp

 

  • John Galliano - His drunken, anti-Semitic tirade in a Paris bar in 2011 got him canned from his position as fashion director at Christian Dior.

 

John.galliano.huffpost

 

  • Karl Lagerfeld - The German fashion designer who  spoke out against same-sex marriage as well as men raising children - but has no problem with lesbians raising kids.  (Update: Lagerfeld died in Feb. 2019 at the age of 85.)

 

Karl.lagerfeld

 

  • Sam Adams - Former mayor of Portland, Oregon, he became embroiled in controversy when it was revealed he had a relationship with an underage man (17-year-old Beau Breedlove, 24 years his junior).  Eyes rolled when Adams claimed the two waited until Breedlove turned 18 to have sex.

 

Sam.adams.mayor

 

TARNISHED BY THEIR ACTIONS ...

  • Andy Cohen - Shame on Cohen for blighting the TV landscape with the noxious “Housewives of …” reality series on Bravo that he produces.  Celebrating toxic, vulgar personalities and their anti-social behavior, these dreadful people became the worst kind of role models (i.e., if you want to become famous this is how you act). With a steady dose of this show, the casts' ugly displays seemed less shocking to viewers.  And now we have Donald Trump as president.  Not so amusing anymore is it?  (Update: In 2019 Cohen became a father through a surrogate.)

 

Andy cohen  

 

  • Elton John - Having done so much fund-raising for AIDS charities, it came as a shock when it was reported that he performed at Rush Limbaugh's 2010 wedding and was paid $1 million for his apostasy.  Then two years later at the Golden Globes he was ridiculed for his petulant response after losing to Madonna for Best Song in a Movie.  An even earlier controversy had him performing with homophobic Eminem at the 2001 Grammys.  Ironically, five years after his wedding performance Sir Elton was one of those who shouted loudest after Dolce & Gabbana made their controversial comment about children born thru in vitro fertilization.

 

Queerty.eltonjohn.rushlimbaugh

 

  • Boy George - He was arrested for keeping a male escort imprisoned in his London flat in 2007; ended up spending 15 months in jail.

 

Boygeorge

 

  • Andrew Sullivan - An early proponent of gay marriage when he was editor of the New Republic, he sullied his reputation in 2001 when it was disclosed that, despite the fact he was HIV+, he searched chat rooms seeking partners for barebacking.

 

Andrew.sullivan.beard

 

  • George Michael - The gifted singer/songwriter was arrested for public indecency at a public bathroom in Beverly Hills in 1998 and then in 2006 an escapade at a London cruising spot was publicized (the fellow he tricked with reported that Michael was a great kisser).  Two years later he was busted in a public toilet in London for possession of crack.  And on another occasion he was found passed out in his car.  (Update: Michael died on Christmas Day 2016 at the age of 53.)

 

George.michael.hellomag

 

  • Jodie Foster - Until last year, when she kinda-sorta came out during the Golden Globes, Foster was a lightning rod for anger because of her refusal to come out publicly (to a lesser degree this was the case with Anderson Cooper as well).  Adding fuel to the fire was her continued friendship with Hollywood pariah Mel Gibson.

 

Jodyfoster.melgibson 

 

  • Richard Hatch - After the gay nudist won the first season of Survivor in 2000 he spent the first decade of the new century in and out of prison for tax evasion.  In the midst of all of this he appeared on a number of other reality shows and made an embarrassing cameo in 2006's Another Gay Movie.

 

Richard.hatch.taxevasion

 

  • Aaron Hicklin - Editor-in-chief of Out Magazine, he fired his editorial staff in the spring of 2012 with the intention of hiring them back as freelancers with no benefits or full-time salaries. 

 

Aaron.hicklin

 

  • Christine Quinn - This New York City politician angered many New Yorkers when she supported the overturning of term limits when Michael Bloomberg wanted to run for a third term as mayor.  She was also criticized for not fighting harder to save St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village.  (Voters got even when she finished a distant third in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2013 - and hasn't been heard from since.)

 

Christine.quinn.mayor.bloomberg 

 

  • Paula Poundstone - In 2001 the comedian made headlines after she was arrested for child endangerment involving her three adoptive and two foster children.

 

Paulapoundstone.imdb

 

  • Barney Frank - In the late 1980s the Massachusetts congressman had a relationship with a male prostitute who later, unbeknownst to Frank, was running an escort service out of his DC townhouse.  He also fixed 33 of the man's parking tickets.  This resulted in Frank being called before the House Ethics Committee where he was officially reprimanded but escaped censure.

 

Barney.frank

 

TARNISHED BY THEIR TOXIC PERSONALITY ...

  • Larry Kramer - His caustic personality alienates many (e.g., it got him exiled from GMHC, which he had helped found), but it's something he wears as a badge of honor.

 

Larrykramer

 

  • Michael Lucas - Outspoken porn impresario who has alienated many with his strong political opinions in support of Israel, PrEP AIDS treatment and right-wing nut job Ann Coulter.

 

Michael.lucas

 

  • Rupert Everett - British actor who claims he would have had a more successful career if he had remained closeted.  Also had negative things to say about gay men raising children.  Bitter because he believes he's been ignored by Hollywood, the fact is he worked a lot in the 1990s.  It was his 2000 flop with Madonna, The Next Best Thing, that may have derailed his career.  (Perhaps Downton Abbey can cast him as a love interest for villainous Thomas?)  An article last summer on Queerty had the headline, "Self-Hating Gay Rupert Everett as Bitter as Ever."  

 

Rupert.everett 

 

  • Rosie O'Donnell - First there was a nasty breach of contract lawsuit in 2003 between her and the publisher of her magazine Rosie (formerly McCall's); the judge in the case awarded no damages to either party.  Then in 2006 she had an idiotic dispute with Donald Trump.  Although she's entertaining and has a good heart, O'Donnell is like a bull in a china shop.

 

Rosie.odonnell

 

  • Perez Hilton - Although his blog is very popular, his obnoxious personality has regularly gotten him into hot water (e.g., he was roughed up by will.i.am outside a Toronto nightclub in in 2009).  It's said that any celebrity who's friendly with Hilton is doing so to protect himself/herself from his rumor-mongering.  However, over the past few years he's mellowed, perhaps because he's now raising a child.

 

Perez.hilton

 

 

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