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Neil Patrick Harris on saying his marriage vows: ‘You can’t help but get super duper choked up’

Neil Patrick Harris didn’t think he was the kind of guy who would get emotional saying his wedding vows.

So the Tony and Emmy winning star says he was surprised when it happened to him during his recent wedding to David Burtka in Italy.

‘It was so crazy,’ he told Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg during an interview this week on The View.

‘When you watch other people say their vows and they get all choked up you think, “Come on, pull it together.” Then when you’re standing there and it’s you, you can’t help but get super duper choked up.’

Harris says he and Burtka weren’t trying to make any kind of big statement by getting married and that the reason for making their union legal was more personal.

‘We really were not trying to do it to try and illicit any kind of reaction from anyone,’ he says. ‘We’d been together for over 10 years.

‘I just wanted to be able to say nice things about David to David in front of the people that matter the most to us. It was less about a proclamation than a declaration that I was able to do in front of our kids and that he could do back for me.’

O’Donnell also made this observation: ‘Who woulda thought when we were kids that we would be on a TV show as gay people talking about our children and spouses? It’s come a long way.’

O’Donnell was divorced from Kelli Carpenter in 2007 and they have four children. She married Michelle Rounds in 2012 and they have one child.

FILE UNDER: Marriage

Lunch Break Video: Comic Hari Kondabolu’s routine on why Matthew McConaughey isn’t a great gay ally


This is a really funny routine by comedian Hari Kondabolu who does a hilarious routine on why Matthew McConaughey might not be the best ally for the gay community.

What makes it all the more funny is that he uses the Oscar winner’s own words to ridicule him.

Let me know what you think.

Rosie O’Donnell admits that massive weight loss – 50-plus pounds – has led to some emotional turbulence

Anyone who has seen the revamped version of The View this week (I like the changes!) can see that Rosie O’Donnell is dramatically thinner than she was the last time she was a regular back in 2007.

She’s lost more than 50 pounds and Rosie admits to Salon.com that it is a big adjustment.

‘The fact that I look so different has been difficult and unexpected. Everyone assumes that obese people would just be jumping for joy that they were healthier and thinner and able to fit into store-bought sizes, we don’t have to go to the plus store. But it’s also filled with a lot of emotional turbulence, you wouldn’t expect.

‘There are many issues for why people gain weight. Some gain weight as a layer of protection. To keep people away from them. I never wanted someone to want to approach me in a sexual manner because of my physical body because of child abuse issues. I think they are all interwoven and they don’t exist separately, so they come up, and I’m having to put out fires and talk to my therapist and get through it and find a different way to cope with my anxiety and my feelings of PTSD rather than eating over them.’

FILE UNDER: Lesbian

Marvel Entertainment and George & Brad Takei to receive Los Angeles LGBT Center Vanguard Awards

One of my favorite events on the calendar is the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards which celebrate efforts to promote tolerance and understanding of LGBT people.

This year’s honorees have just been announced: Marvel Entertainment, George Takei and his husband Brad Takei and LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky.

‘As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the world’s largest provider of programs and services for LGBT people, we’re excited to honor some very deserving super heroes in our movement,’ says Center CEO Lorri L. Jean.

Jean says Marvel is being honored for its LGBT characters and story lines ‘that parallel the struggle to end discrimination against our community. (Marvel) has helped brighten the lives of LGBT kids — and adults alike — around the world.’

Of the other honorees she says: ‘George and Brad Takei are two of the nation’s most visible, dedicated and influential LGBT activists. Throughout his four decades of services to Los Angeles, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has been a fierce champion for LGBT people and strong ally to the Center.’

This year’s event will be held on November 8 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Barbra Streisand poised to become the first artist with No. 1 albums in each of the past six decades

At 72, Barbra Streisand is still at the top of her game.

Her latest album, Partners, is poised to debut in the number one spot on the Billboard 200 album chart next week.

According to Billboard, the album may sell over 150,000 copies in its first week, according to industry forecasters.

If Partners debuts at No. 1, it will make Barbra the first artist with No. 1s in each of the past six decades beginning in the 1960s.

It would extend her lead as the female artist with the most No. 1 albums.

Barbra certainly has been doing her part to drive up sales with an appearance on The Tonight Show on Monday, Good Morning America on Tuesday and is scheduled to be on The View today.

Partners is an album of duets with such stars as Stevie Wonder, Michael Buble, Blake Shelton, Billy Joel and Lionel Richie She also duets with her son, Jason Gould.


FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Thursday Morning Man: Than Merrill!

At 6 feet 3 inches tall and 220 pounds, Than Merrill is one hunk of a man.

He’s best known these days from seasons 3 and 4 of A&E’s Flip This House which stemmed from his being co-owner of the real estate company CT Homes.

This is all actually a second career for the 36 year old which I had not been aware of.

He played safety while attending Yale University where he was named to Yale’s First-Team All-Ivy Selections from 1999-2001.

After graduating from Yale, he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then spent one season with the Chicago Bears in 2001 but in 2003, Merrill suffered a career-ending knee injury.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

Melissa Rivers and son Cooper grateful for support: “It is certainly helping to lift our spirits during this time”

It’s been two weeks since the death of Joan Rivers and it still seems difficult to accept.

A few nights ago, I was chatting with actress Kate Flannigan of The Office fame and told her how much I enjoyed her recent appearance on the web show In Bed With Joan. Kate got teary and said it was the best thing I could have said to her because she has been so down about the loss.

Anyway, Melissa Rivers has posted a new statement on the Joan Rivers‘ official Facebook page:
“As my son Cooper and I mourn the loss of my mother, we want to thank everyone for the beautiful cards and flowers conveying heartfelt messages and condolences, which continue to arrive from around the world and through social media, My mother would have been overwhelmed by the scope and depth of the love that people have expressed for her. It is certainly helping to lift our spirits during this time.

“We are forever grateful for your kindness and support in continuing to honor my mother’s legacy, and for remembering the joy and laughter that she brought to so many.”

Also, the ladies of The View invited Kristin Chenoweth on their season premiere to sing a special tribute to Joan. See it below:

And in case you missed it, here is the 20-20 tribute that aired the day after her death:

FILE UNDER: Icons

Happy 43rd birthday to Nate Berkus!

Wishing a very happy birthday to designer and TV personality Nate Berkus who turns 43 today.

Nate is celebrating this birthday as a newlywed.

He became engaged to Jeremiah Brent in April 2013 and they were married on May 3, 2014 in New York City.

The couple was featured in clothier Banana Republic’s “True Outfitters” ads in InStyle and Rolling Stone, among other magazines – the first same-sex couple to be featured in ads for the magazines.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

No more cuddling sessions for Frankie Grande on “Big Brother” – he’s been evicted

Frankie Grande may not be the winner of this year’s edition of Big Brother on CBS but he certainly succeeded in showing the world the inner-workings of a gay-straight bromance.

The older brother of singer Ariana Grande was evicted on Tuesday and finishes the season just outside the final four.

The openly gay contestant forged high-profile bromances with presumed to be straight contestants Zach Rance and Cody Calafiore which included close physical contact such as cuddling and massages.

But Grande eventually turned on Rance and supported his eviction.

‘Unfortunately, Zach’s unpredictability made him a huge liability to my game,’ Grande told BigBrotherNetwork.com after his eviction.

‘There were no guarantees when it came to Zach and that terrified me. I honestly don’t know if getting rid of him helped my game, but I know that keeping him would have hurt it.’

Calafiore won the Power of Veto competition but declined to save his cuddle buddy.

In his farewell speech to the house Grande said to Calafiore: ‘I’ve had better.’

FILE UNDER: Reality

Adam Lambert fills in as judge on “American Idol”

Adam Lambert is back on American Idol - this time as a judge.

The show suddenly found itself one judge short during its New York auditions when Keith Urban left to be with wife Nicole Kidman in Australia after her father’s sudden death over the weekend.

Lambert, the season 8 runner-up and one of the most successful stars to ever emerge from the show, agreed to join Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. at the judge’s table temporarily.

‘Unfortunately, it’s under these circumstances,’ Lambert tells Entertainment Tonight.

‘My condolences to Keith and his family.’

Despite the circumstances, Lopez and Connick have enthusiastically welcomed Lambert who has completed his summer tour with Queen.

‘Adam is so fun,’ Lopez says. ‘He brings in a whole new thing. He’s a sweetheart.’

Added Connick: ‘He brings what no one else can bring which is the perspective of a contestant who made it all the way to the finale.’

FILE UNDER: Reality

Neil Patrick Harris releases fun trailer for his upcoming book “Choose Your Own Autobiography”


Well, who wouldn’t want to share a late of spaghetti and meatballs with adorable David Burtka?

His husband, Neil Patrick Harris does in a promo video for NPH’s upcoming book Choose Your Own Autobiography which sounds like it will be very unique – just like its author!

FILE UNDER: Books

Greg in Hollywood is headed to Cinema Diverse!

I’ve decided that it’s not hot enough in scorching Los Angeles so I’m heading to Palm Springs where I can really sizzle!

Tomorrow night is the kick-off for Cinema Diverse, The Palm Springs Gay & Lesbian Film Festival which runs Sept. 18-21.

I’m going to take in as many movies as I can at the Camelot Theatres where, if you wish, you can drink! A nice option to have is all I’m saying. A few years ago, I was attending the final day of the festival and there was a nice Sunday morning brunch set up upstairs so loaded up on some food and sat at a table to write my last story.

A few minutes later, loads of people who had been having a church service in one of the theaters, began filing in and I realized I had crashed a church social!

Anyway, here is a LINK to the festival’s homepage and, just for kicks, I’ve cut and pasted the entire schedule below!

2014 Schedule

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 7PM – OPENING NIGHT SCREENING

SHORT: NO NO HOMO – 3 min

Alone at a matinee together, with a big, mouthwatering bucket of popcorn.


FEATURE: SAUGATUCK CURES
– 89 min (WORLD PREMIERE) Maggie Callaghan (Judith Chapman), is a widowed B&B owner in picturesque Saugatuck, Michigan. She’s secretly dealing with cancer until her well-meaning, and meddlesome friends let her secret out to her children over Thanksgiving. Maggie’s openly gay son, Drew (Max Adler), and her affluent, religious daughter, Penelope, have a huge falling out over how to pay for their mother‘s cancer treatment. Maggie leaves in a huff, but Drew, determined, but with no idea how to raise the money, follows the harebrained advice of his best friend, Brett (Danny Mooney). The two embark on a road trip, posing as ex-gay ministers “curing” homosexuals of their “affliction.” What follows is a madcap adventure with several surprise endings! Starring Max Adler, Judith Chapman and Danny Mooney.

AFTER PARTY AT HUNTERS NIGHTCLUB

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

11:00AM

SHORT: PRINSESA – 12 min

A father reacts to the gender-identity questions of his young son. Inspired by the Singkil dance of the Philippines.

FEATURE: KUMA HINA – 74 min

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i. During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian mahu, or transgender, teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe. But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. Will her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man fulfill her dreams?

11:30AM

SHORT:GAY BASHER – 5 min

In the dark of night, a young man emerges from a violent encounter in the back alleys of the gay ghetto to become an avenging angel.

FEATURE: FAGBUG NATION – 88 min

With six years of touring in her once vandalized, now famous ‘Fagbug’ under her belt, director Erin Davies (‘Fagbug,’ 2009, Netflix) sets her sights on getting her car to all 50 states – Hawaii and Alaska being the final two.

1:30PM

SHORT: THE L RIDERS – 13 min

Five lesbians use motorcycles to express themselves and explore their sexuality.

FEATURE: FOLSOM FOREVER – 72 min

In 1984, a scrappy little neighborhood in San Francisco faced destruction from redevelopment and the AIDS crisis. The Folsom Street Fair was started to call attention to gentrification and raise money for AIDS charities. FOLSOM FOREVER tells the story of how this small street fair grew into the biggest outdoor fetish event in the world, and managed to do a lot of good along the way.

2:00PM

SHORT: TRANS – 43 min

TRANS details the steps that trans men go through during transition from woman to man. Trans men share their stories at different stages of their transition.

FEATURE: SHUNNED – 70 min

SHUNNED is a no-holds-barred look into the lives of transsexuals (male to female) in the Philippines. The documentary captures the reality of their struggles, their battles with society, their love life, and their transition to womanhood.

3:30PM

SHORT: SHOTGUN – 11 min

Shotgun explores how one urban young Black men seeks to deal with his homosexual feelings, and the impact it has on his life.

FEATURE: SNAILS IN THE RAIN – 82 min

In this intelligent and emotional Israeli film set in 1989 Tel Aviv, Boaz (incredibly sexy male model Yoav Reuveni) is a linguistics student committed to his girlfriend, Noa. But soon Boaz begins receiving a series of love letters from another man. They expose the inner world of their author, who is deeply closeted, but knows plenty about Boaz, including his past attraction to other men.

4:00PM

NO SHORT

FEATURE: THE LAST STRAIGHT MAN – 110 min (Filmed in Palm Springs)

Lewis, a closeted gay man, is secretly in love with his straight best friend, Cooper. After a drunken hook-up, the two men decide to meet every year in the same hotel room on the same night to catch up on their lives and further explore their sexuality. Each year, Lewis gets closer to revealing his feelings for Cooper, but his friend’s difficulty in handling their sexual trysts keep him quiet. Five nights over a ten year period are depicted, showing how their friendship and relationship changes.

5:30pm

SHORT: SEARCHING – 9 min

One late night two young men set out on separate paths in search of their first sexual experience with another man. After disappointing encounters, they happen to meet each other on their way home….

FEATURE: BOYS – 78 min

In this beautiful and uplifting gay romance, two teen track stars discover first love as they train for the biggest relay race of their lives. Chiseled Dutch phenom Gijs Blom stars as Sieger, a thoughtful 15-year-old who grapples with his emerging gayness. Handsome Ko Zandvliet co-stars as his love interest, the spirited and outgoing Marc. In their boyish summer courtship the two boys swim, bike, run — and share ice creams and kisses as they find the courage to be vulnerable with one another. With its authentic and perfectly poignant tone Boys ranks as one of the most wholesomely romantic gay teen films ever.

6:00PM

SHORT: CAT SITTING – 14 min

Alex agrees to cat sit for her ex wife, while she is away, but her traumatic first visit back to what used to be their home culminates in an unexpected confrontation with her nemesis, a feisty cop called Finn.

FEATURE: OF GIRLS AND HORSES – 82 min

Alex is a 16-year old misfit who’s been using drugs and cutting herself. Her adoptive mother has signed her up for an internship at a farm to work with horses. There Alex meets Nina, her teacher, a 30-something lesbian. Although Alex initially hates being stuck on the farm, she gradually connects with the horses. Then Kathy, arrives. Alex dislikes her at first, but slowly the girls form a friendship. One weekend, they’re alone at the farm….

8:00PM

SHORT: THE BEST MAN – 14 min

As they prepare for their wedding, Scott and Johnny reflect on their relationship; from a teenage first date after band practice to the meaning of monogamy and marriage.

FEATURE: THREE IN A BED – 80 min (WORLD PREMIERE)

This romantic British coming-of-age comedy follows the life of struggling musician, Nate. Since the untimely death of his mother, Nate has been the guardian of his two younger sisters, who are finally (sort of) out on their own. Nate, desperate to explore his own life, and his sexuality, finds himself attracted to his new neighbor, Jonny. Then his two sisters come crashing back into his life (and home)….

8:15PM

SHORT: TEARDROPS – 4 min

Love and desire break down walls in this modern Gay Music VIdeo.

FEATURE: CLUB KING – 70 min

For 20 years, Mario Diaz has crafted his own iconic image as the premier LGBT king of the nightlife, throwing parties from New York to LA, including the ever popular Hot Dog, BFD and Full Frontal Disco. CLUB KING combines Diaz’s personal reflections with candid interviews and archival footage from events featuring the Country’s hottest drag queens (including Jackie Beat), go-go boys, and singers like Justin Vivian Bond.

AFTER PARTY: TBA

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

9:30AM

FEATURE: MIA – 105 min MIA is the story of Ale, a transvestite, and garbage collector,  who lives in an Argentinian shanty town inhabited only by gays. While out collecting garbage, Ale finds a diary of a young woman who has died. The content written on it, changes the course of Ale’s life forever…

SPONSORED BY THE DESERT FILM SOCIETY

11:00AM

SHORTS SERIES: 86 min

AD OCCHI CHIUSI (WITH CLOSED EYES) – 15 MIN

A love story between two teenagers, Sara and Ginevra, becomes dangerous when the father of the youngest discovers them.

SNOWFLAKE – 15 MIN

Aurore is near death, and her friend Claire is at her bedside. Before she dies, Aurore gives Claire a final gift – a diary. In it, Claire discovers a tale of love….

EYES THAT DO NOT SEE (OJOS QUE NO VEN) – 15 MIN

A quinceanera becomes a battleground for a traditional Salvadoran mother and her nontraditional American daughter.

THE GOOD KIND – 13 MIN

In a repressed southern town, love develops between two young Latinas, bringing out the best and worst in the people around them.

LOOK AT ME NOW – 17 min

Rania is living a double life. Torn between family and love, she tries to be both the daughter her muslim father wants, and the lover her girlfriend wants. Eventually, though, everyone must make a choice….

CHAPERONES – 23 min

When Alex Bell and Ramona Hernandez, the two newest teachers at Lakeview High School, are forced to chaperone the prom together, they discover more than spiked punch….

11:30AM

SHORTS SERIES: 87 min

GOOD MORNING – 10 min

A comedic short film about sexual identity, age anxiety, and that awkward moment when you wake up hung over the morning after your 30th birthday and discover a 17 year old in your apartment.

DINNER AT 40 – 19 min

Unexpected dinner guests, crazy friends, a hot ex, and a drag queen turn a ‘quiet’ birthday celebration into an evening of panic, doubt, and anxiety, followed by uproarious laughs, love and some unexpected surprises!

TAKING IT FOR GRANTED – 20 min

Two couples, one gay, and one straight, fight for what they believe in; what they think they want, and what they might be able to give to each other.

A LAST FAREWELL (ETTA SISTA FARVAL) – 13 min

A family drama about life, love and death….

PROMISE – 18 min

A man throws one final birthday celebration for his dying lover.

1:30PM

SHORT : SPIRAL: MAYBE THIS TIME – 16 min

Humberto, an exchange student, finds himself falling for Thiago, who is kind and charming.

FEATURE: STAGE DOOR DIVAS – 83 min

In this documentary based on Alan Palmer’s off-Broadway hit musical, Fabulous Divas Of Broadway, Palmer takes audiences on musical journey – charting his love of the theater and the amazing ladies that inspired him along the way – to discover what drives someone to stay inspired as a performer.

2PM

SHORT: AIRPORT DOUCHERY: BOARDING AND HOARDING – 2 min The only thing harder than getting to the gate is fending off the faster, smarter, and wittier gays who cut in line.

FEATURE: THE DAVID DANCE – 108 min

David, the host of a local, gay radio show in Buffalo, New York, struggles with self-doubt when his single sister asks him to be the father figure for her soon-to-be-adopted Brazilian child. Past and present intertwine in this bittersweet winter’s tale of a man learning to love and accept himself.

3:30PM

SHORT: GRIND – 32 min Vincent (Anthony Rapp), is as plain as his roommate, Thane, (Pasha Pellosie) is gorgeous. They both use an online hook-up app to meet men. Their gal pal (Claire Coffee) cautions both men about meeting men on the app, concerned that it might be dangerous, never realizing that one of them is exactly the sort of dangerous man she’s worried about.

FEATURE: VIOLENCE OF THE MIND – 90 min (Partially Filmed in Palm Springs) When Sebastian (Ryan Kibby) meets the older, handsome Max (Jon Fleming), the line between fantasy and reality is blurred when experimentations into taboo sex go too far. Max leads Sebastian down the path of torture, pain, and even murder, and Sebastian finds himself liking it more and more. Sebastian’s best friend, Gina, tries to intervene, but she may have waited too long.

4PM

SHORT: SCAREMONGER – 22 min

After hearing news that her 10-year-old son is being bullied because of his long, feminine eyelashes, a single mother descends into a paranoid spiral of nightmares.

FEATURE: LILTING – 86 min

Set in contemporary London, LILTING is the story of a Cambodian-Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son, and her own fate in an old folks home. Suddenly, her world is disrupted by a stranger. Though they don’t share a common language, a translator helps piece together memories of the man they both loved and lost. LILTING is a touching film about unlikely connections and the tragedies that bring us together.

5:30PM

SHORT: NARCISSIST – 17 min

A writer discovers the painful truth about a handsome and charming, yet manipulative and toxic love interest.

FEATURE: TIGER ORANGE – 76 min

Chet (Mark Strano) and Todd (Frankie Valenti – the one and only Johnny Hazzard) are estranged gay brothers who grew up in a small town in Central California to a homophobic, working class single father. Now adults, the two could not have turned out more differently. Chet, the older brother, runs the family hardware store and still lives in their childhood home. Todd, the younger of the two, ran off to LA at eighteen. Now, though, homeless, with no cash, he heads back up the coast to the home and the brother he left behind.

6PM

SHORT: GOING DOWN – 10 min

After a surfing accident, Kat is near death. Straddling the line between life/death, she experiences two versions of reality- one on a beach, and another, trapped in an elevator with the lifeguard who is trying to save her life.

FEATURE: TRU LOVE – 87 min

Tru, 37, is a serial bed-hopping lesbian who cannot commit to a relationship or a job. Then she meets Alice, 60, a beautiful widow, who has come to town to visit her daughter, Tru’s friend, Suzanne. When Tru meets Alice, sparks fly. Alice and Tru begin forging an unlikely friendship. Suzanne, who already has a conflicted relationship with her mother, and a secret past with Tru, becomes increasingly disturbed by the growing bond between Tru and Alice.

8PM

SHORT: JE T’AIME – 10 min

Although he is the process of moving to London with his girlfriend, Johannes realizes another journey is more pressing.

FEATURE: WAITING IN THE WINGS: THE MUSICAL – 107 min

Two entertainers, both destined for the big time, are mismatched in a casting office. Tony, a stripper from New York, is cast in an Off-Broadway musical and needs to trade in his tear-away trunks for tap shoes and tights. Anthony, a naive musical theatre enthusiast from Montana, needs to decide if he can strip all the way down just to stay in town. Hilarity ensues as they realize that ‘to make it’ they’re gonna have to learn some new tricks.

8:15PM SHORT: EDEN – 15 min

In Eden, a society where homosexuality is seen as a disease, a longstanding government agency imprisons homosexuals in an institution in order to cure them.

FEATURE: THE DARK PLACE – 90 min

Long estranged from his widowed mother, Keegan Dark has the uncanny ability to remember his life in videographic detail – an ironic curse as it makes him unable to forget any of his life’s numerous tragedies, including the deaths of his father and brother. He returns home, boyfriend in tow, to his family’s vineyard estate to make amends with his mother, only to discover that she has remarried. His family now includes a step-father and step-brother — and Keegan quickly surmises they aren’t up to any good. But his investigation into their past gets derailed when his mother drops into a coma, his boyfriend leaves him, and the town’s sheriff targets him as the culprit. With time running out, Keegan struggles to unravel the secrets that threaten to destroy him and everyone he loves. Starring Blaise Embry, Timo Descamps, Sean Paul Lockhart (Brent Corrigan)and Eduardo Rioseco.

AFTER PARTY: THE PURPLE ROOM

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

11AM

SHORT: LIVING IN THE OVERLAP – 26 min

For over 40 years, Lennie and Pearl have shared a passion for social justice and for each other. Now, the indelible spark of their love inspires others as they fight for their right to marry in North Carolina.

FEATURE: ONE: A STORY OF LOVE AND EQUALITY – 102 min In the months leading up to the vote on North Carolina’s Amendment One, which removed legal recognition for all couples that are not a married man and woman, filmmaker Becca Roth and her girlfriend sought to understand the personal stories of people on both sides.

11:30AM

SHORT: FAMILY IS LIKE SKIN: LESBIANS IN CAMBODIA – 6 min

This 6-minute documentary by Paula Stromberg tells the story of lesbians in Cambodia, and features several long-term couples who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s.

FEATURE: THE CIRCLE – 110 min

Zurich: 1958. Bashful teacher, Ernst Ostertag, and German cabaret artist, Robi Rapp, get to know one another in the Swiss underground organization called “Der Kreis.” (The Circle). As they grow to love one another, they witness the heyday and the decline of this Europe-wide pioneering organization for gay emancipation. Stefan Haupt’s new film uncovers the fascinating universe of “Der Kreis.” Enriched by impressive conversations with Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, the film depicts a decades-long love story, and a part of LGBT history that few people know.

1:30PM

SHORT: TO DANIEL – 5 min

Middle-aged Roni is paying young Eyal to reveal himself sexually in front of his camera. Pushing him to expose himself more and more, Roni uncovers more than he intended to.

FEATURE: I ALWAYS SAID YES: THE MANY LIVES OF WAKEFIELD POOLE – 78 min (Palm Springs Filmmaker)

I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole tells the story of this sometimes overlooked gay liberation and independent film making pioneer. In an era when anyone making, promoting, or appearing in what the US government considered “pornography” could be liable for prosecution and jail time, Wakefield Poole was a remarkably open and honest gay filmmaker. He also became internationally famous and his movies screened for years as examples of films that could be artistic as well as sexually explicit.

2PM

SHORT: FOREIGN RELATIONS – 25 min

When a recently-dumped young man traveling solo on a Mediterranean tour gets a hot Greek guy as his randomly assigned roommate, will he get so distracted that he misses meeting the love of his life?

FEATURE: ALEC MAPA: BABY DADDY – 93 min

Actor and comedian Alec Mapa’s one-man show about how his life has changed since he and his husband adopted a child through foster care.

3:30PM

SHORT: CITY OF THE DAMNED – 15 min

City of the Damned focuses on LGBT rights in the face of the brutal anti-homosexuality bill signed into law by the Ugandan Parliament. Although the death penalty was withdrawn from the bill before it was made law, punishments are still harsh, and public opinion remains the biggest threat to the Ugandan LGBT community.

FEATURE: CAMPAIGN OF HATE: RUSSIA AND GAY PROPAGANDA – 78 min

As much of the world moves forward toward gay equality, Russia is seemingly heading backward. Antigay sentiment and legislation are spreading rapidly throughout the country. In 2013, the Russian parliament passed a ban on so-called ‘gay propaganda’ that effectively makes nearly any public discussion of gay equality a crime. Documentary filmmaker, Michael Lucas interviews members of Russia’s LGBT community as well as the politician who sponsored the antigay bill in order to understand the origins of Russia’s current antigay sentiment.

4PM

SHORT: HOOVER ROAD – 15 min

Hoover Road explores the complexity of unconventional families and mental illness.  When Mark, a young Alabama gay man, wants to move away from his small town, he must leave behind his lover Saul and Saul’s quirky bipolar father Hank.  Can Mark leave behind the farm on Hoover Road and the offbeat home he’s created there?

FEATURE: THE WAY HE LOOKS – 95 min

Leonardo is a blind teenager with an overprotective mother, who yearns for independence. After deciding to study abroad, to the disappointment of his best friend, Giovana, the arrival of a new student at school makes Leonardo rethink his plans, and his life. The Way He Looks is a poignant coming of age movie with a unique perspective and an unusual twist.

6PM

SHORT: SWADHISTANA – 20 min

The carnal and creative expertise of a mother and father are boldly put to the test when they attempt to enlighten their teenage children on matters of adult education after unwittingly discovering that their son is gay.

FEATURE: MY STRAIGHT SON (AZUL NO TAN ROSA) – 114 min

Diego, a young and successful photographer, lives in the glamorous but shallow and excessive world of fashion. A tragic accident turns his world upside down, and leaves his partner Fabrizio in a coma. Unexpectedly, and right at this inopportune time, Diego’s estranged son Armando shows up. Now, both of them have to adapt to each other; Armando to the unknown, homosexual world of his father, and Diego to the closed attitude of his teenage son.

6:30PM

SHORT: BRACE – 24 min

After coming out and leaving his girlfriend, Adam dreams of finding acceptance within London’s gay scene. His burgeoning freedom is soon challenged when he meets Rocky, a handsome stranger who is harboring a secret. As their bond strengthens and Rocky prepares to reveal his secret to Adam, their fledgling romance is ruptured by a cataclysmic event that forces the truth to come out in the most explosive manner.

FEATURE: APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR – 86 min

After being dumped by her girlfriend Maxine, Shirin faces an unimaginable task: trading the idyllic lesbian haven of Park Slope for a shared artist’s loft in Bushwick. Unable to let go of the memories of their excruciating highs and lows, the endearingly superficial narcissist finds herself plotting to win back her ex.

Closing Night Party: Lulu California Bistro

FILE UNDER: Film Festivals

Long Beach Q Film Festival award winners

Only got to spend half a day at the Long Beach QFilm Festival this year due to a packed schedule but it was, as always, a terrific time.
The festival, held from September 12-14, benefits the non-profit LGBTQ Center of Long Beach’s great community outreach programs.
The 2014 jury award winners are listed below:

Best Feature: BOY MEETS GIRL

Best Short Film-Drama: YOU’RE DEAD TO ME

Best Short Film-Comedy: SHAMELESS

Best Director-Feature: MIGUEL FERRARI, MY STRAIGHT SON

Best Director-Short Film: DENNIS SHINNERS, BARRIO BOY

Best Documentary-Feature: TRANSVISIBLE: BAMBY SALCEDO’S STORY

Best Documentary-Short: FAMILIES ARE FOREVER

Special Jury Awards
Emerging Talent: Acting- JULIAN WALKER, BLACKBIRD
Emerging Talent: Writing & Directing- DESIREE AKHAVAN, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR

FILE UNDER: Film Festivals

Wednesday Morning Man: Kevin Grant Spencer!

Caught the wonderful short film Foreign Relations (directed by Reid Waterer) at the Q Film Festival in Long Beach over the weekend.

The leading man is Kevin Grant Spencer plays Tom, a recently dumped guy on a Mediterranean tour who gets randomly assigned an intriguing roommate, Nikos, from the group.

Check out the trailer below.

Kevin has appeared in the TV series Beach Heat Miami and has appeared in various off-broadway productions and national tours, including a role as the Professor in the first national tour of Gilligan’s Island: The Musical.



FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

The Advocate Interview: David Walton

http://content5.catalog.photos.msn.com/ds/pic-en-us/picenus_msnentertainment/MSNE/DF646FD5-9243-4016-96AA-CC1493735542.jpgDavid Walton, the impossibly handsome star of NBC’s About A Boy, first came to our attention in the 2010 film Burlesque in which his gay character spends the night with Stanley Tucci.

David has just done an interview with Brandon Voss for The Advocate which I quite enjoyed. Here are some excerpts:

Did you notice more gay fans after Burlesque became an instant camp cult classic?
I’ll sometimes get that look from guys, but I don’t necessarily know if they’re fans. To be perfectly honest, I’ve gotten attention from gay men for a long time.

Oh, really? What’s up with that?
I don’t know, but it’s flattering. I love being around cool, fun guys, so I’ve always enjoyed talking to gay men. Maybe it’s because I’m an inherent flirt, but it just feels very natural. There’s this club I like in L.A. where a lot of gay guys go. I’ve always gone there with girls, but sometimes you get carried away by the ’80s music and lose your way on the dance floor. Look, I’ve got a wife and two kids. I never want to give a guy the wrong impression or hurt his feelings, but a little mild flirtation is harmless.

Were you ever hesitant about taking gay roles?
Public perception is obviously important to an actor’s career. When you play a character, especially for a long run on TV, people do think that you are that person, so I get why it’s something an actor might consider. But I’ve taken each gay role that I’ve been offered. I’m two for two and waiting for the third.

Was there a gay scene at your boarding school?
Well, there was a lot of hazing way back when I was there, and a lot of hazing tends to be sexual. You’d be a freshman and a senior would jump into your bed buck-naked and start spooning you. You’d be like, “Dude, you’re the captain of the football team. What the fuck is going on?” [Laughs] There were kids I thought might be gay, but no one was out. A good friend of mine, one of my best friends from grades 7 through 12, actually came out much later. We had lost touch, and I just saw him recently. That was interesting. It wasn’t a shock, but I didn’t really see that coming.

Is it such a stretch that one of Will’s poker buddies would be gay? The show’s set in San Francisco.
I know, right? Let’s spitball some ideas. Let’s say I meet an awesome guy, we’re hanging out all the time, and then he turns out to be in love with me. Hilarity ensues? Obviously we’ll have to flesh it out.

Would Will be into it?
Maybe. I believe that sexuality is on a continuum. I’m never surprised to hear that a straight man has dabbled or that a gay man used to sleep with women, because sexuality’s the most powerful force on earth. With 1 being the strictest hetero and 10 being a gay person who’d vomit thinking about sleeping with the opposite sex, I feel like the vast majority of people lie between 3 and 7.

Where are you?
Right at 20. [Laughs] No, maybe 3.

Does anybody raise your number?
It used to be Tom Cruise, but now my wife and I are both obsessed with Ryan Gosling. He just does cool stuff and seems incredibly curious about the world, and I want to be like that. No, nevermind, scratch Gosling. Tom Brady. The guy’s such a stud. I met him once playing golf and couldn’t stop shaking his hand. I’m like, “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you,” but I made it this weird moment where I wouldn’t look away. He’s a guy who really locks eyes, too, so we had five good seconds of eye lock. Seriously, I’ll never forget it.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Star-studded premiere for Amazon series “Transparent” starring Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender woman



It was quite a scene last night at the United Artists Theatre at the Ace Hotel with a line of attendees down Broadway almost to 9th Street.

This was one hot ticket and it was all for the premiere showing of the new Amazon Studios show Transparent about an LA family with serious boundary issues. They have their past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out.

It’s no secret that the admission is that the father of three adult children comes out as a transgender female. I won’t spill any of the rest of the secrets but they are pretty wild.

I chatted with the series lead Jeffrey Tambor on the red carpet as well as Judith Light who plays his ex-wife and mother of his children.

‘Jeffrey Tambor is the perfect person to be playing this part. I can’t even begin to tell you the kind of work that he is doing,’ said Light who is also currently starring on TNT’s Dallas and in recent years has won two Tony Awards for her work on Broadway.

Tambor told me that he has had a lot help from the LGBT community in learning and in preparing for his role.

‘This is important, this is a part of a lifetime,’ he said. ‘This is why you went into acting.’

Jay Duplass (pictured, left) who plays the son of Tambor and Light on the show said: ‘These are some of the best actors I’ve ever been around. We felt like a family from the very beginning and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. It’s amazing to be a part of a dramatic series that’s also super funny and also happens to be on the forefront of a civil rights movement.’

Also chatted with series creator and executive producer Jill Soloway (pictured, left) who is so full of passion about this series which will premiere Amazon Prime on September 26.

‘Fuck!’ Soloway said to the crowd once everyone was seated in the theater. ‘I’m going to try and breathe – breathe this in. … This is a movement, this is a moment that is so much bigger than me.’

The show is semi-autobiographical for Soloway who said she has a trans parent ‘who made a break for freedom and authenticity. You led by example and you demanded that I do the same.’

She told the crowd the show is ‘for all the trans people who want to be seen, who deserve to be seen.’

Like a Netflix series, viewers can binge watch all 10 half-hour episodes of this dramedy. We were shown the first two last night and I am hooked.

‘I truly don’t think there’s been anything like this show before,’ Joe Lewis, head of Original Programming at Amazon Studios said before the screening began. ‘What people are going to see next week is really a five-hour movie with nine intermissions.’

On the red carpet, I also gabbed with several actors with recurring roles on the show including Bradley Whitford, Amin Joseph and Carrie Brownstein.

Whitford, the star of The West Wing who most recently starred in Trophy Wife, appears in three episodes of the show.

‘It happens to be something that needs to be talked about and I loved Jill’s ability to deal with issues of sexuality and gender sensitively without being served a plate of vegetables,’ he said.

Joseph said he has never prepared so extensively for a show. Cast members did workshops before filming to get to know each other better.

‘The character exploration was very intense,’ he said. ‘It helped me fund out things about myself as well as the character. I really had an amazing time working on the series.’

Other celebrity guests I spotted at the event included Dana Delaney and Clark Gregg and spotted Larry David, Wilson Cruz, Kate Flannery, Sean Hayes, Jennifer Grey, Sharon Lawrence, Max Carver, Sarah Chalke and Mark Duplass on the red carpet or in the crowd.

Gregg wasn’t really doing press but I got him to come over for a quick chat and he explained why he was there.

‘I’m such a huge fan of everyone involved in this from Jeffrey Tambor to Jill Soloway and I love this pilot. My wife (Jennifer Grey) just did another Amazon pilot called Red Oaks. We’re happy to be in the Amazon family.’

Gregg also happy to be in the Marvel family in the role of Phil Coulson which he has played in the films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Marvel’s The Avengers and in the television series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.

‘Even in my wildest nerd fan boy fantasies as a 15 year old Marvel fan, I never could have imagined this. As a fan of those comics, I never even thought they would make movies of these superheroes we grew up with in the 70s and 80s. So to be part of that is a huge deal to me.’

FILE UNDER: About Town

Rob James-Collier says his gay “Downtown Abbey” character of Thomas Barrow faces dark journey

The character of closeted gay under-butler Thomas Barrow on TV’s Downton Abbey is going to have his most harrowing episodes yet, according to the actor who plays him.

Rob James-Collier says the character’s homosexuality, which not focused on during seasons three and four, will be the focus of the Barrow’s storyline when the new season begins Sunday in the UK.

(It will begin airing in the US early next year.)

Barrow, whose attempts at romance during the early seasons were unsuccessful, will begin to question whether he is really gay and will try to not be.

This will not go well.

‘Thomas comes right up to the abyss,’ James-Collier tells the Mail.

‘It’s quite a harrowing storyline and I hope it is. Because if it isn’t, I haven’t done it justice.’

Acting out the storyline has been difficult at times for the 37-year-old actor.

‘There are mornings of those scenes when you haven’t been able to sleep at night because you are so worried about how it will go.’

FILE UNDER: Television

Ratings for revamped “The View” are way up!

The View scored its highest ratings in eight years on Monday with the return of Rosie O’Donnell and the introduction of two new co-hosts.

Whoopi Goldberg is the only holdover in an overhaul for the show’s 18th season that also includes a new set in a new studio and a new executive producer.

Goldberg and O’Donnell are now teamed with actress Rosie Perez and conservative author and commentator Nicolle Wallace.

The new line-up drew 3.902 million viewers which is a jump from last season’s season premiere numbers of 3.259 million.

In fact, it is the second-biggest season premiere audience in the history of the show created by Barbara Walters back in 1997.

Walters retired from the show last spring and co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy did not return for another season. McCarthy was not asked back after one season while Shepherd said it was her decision not to return.

Also worth noting is that the show hit a three-year high in the key audience demographic of women ages 25-54.

FILE UNDER: Daytime TV

Flashback Video: Some of the best of the late, great Paul Lynde on “The Hollywood Squares”

Came across this gem this morning and found myself watching the whole thing because it is so funny.

Paul Lynde was the regular “center square” guest on the game show Hollywood Squares from 1968 to 1981 and his barely in the closet gay humor is even funnier now.

Much of it might have gone over the audience’s heads but you get the sense none of it was lost on host Peter Marshall.

My favorite punchline here is when Lynde is asked: ‘Instead of “Man overboard!” what do you yell when a woman falls overboard?”

His answer: “Full steam ahead!”

A mustached Tuc Watkins guests on latest episode red-hot web comedy series “Where the Bears Are”

This week’s episode of the popular web series Where the Bears Are features the return of Greg In Hollywood fave Tuc Watkins in a guest role.

Tuc reprises his role of Dickie Calloway (love the name!), the bitter acting rival of Nelson who has his first starring role in a low budget feature film playing a small town southern sheriff investigating a series of grisly murders. Dickie has been cast as his deputy and makes it his personal mission to sabotage Nelson in front of the camera every chance he gets.

Where the Bears Are is a web series following the exploits of three bear roommates sharing a house in the hills of Silverlake. Now in season three, there are new episodes every Monday and Thursday.

FILE UNDER: Web Shows