If Moonlight is able to pull an upset and beat front-runner La La Land for Best Picture at Sunday’s Academy Awards, it will make history.
It would mark the first time that a gay-themed film has won the evening’s top prize.
‘Movies that feature characters like this they don’t arise very often. When they do, these characters are marginalized and not centered,’ Moonlight writer-director Barry Jenkins told me earlier this month.
Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
The film is up for eight Oscars overall.
‘It was a lot to expect this widespread an audience to take the journey with our main character,’ Jenkins says.
‘It’s been a pleasant surprise. The performances are very truthful. I think people enter the cinema, they see and hear things that defy their expectations.’
If Moonlight were to win, the victory would be coming 11 long years after the honor was widely expected to happen for Brokeback Mountain, a gay-themed drama about two ranch hands who fall in love.
While Brokeback is considered a classic and won Oscars for director, screenplay and score, Best Picture went to the now mostly forgotten ensemble drama Crash.
No matter what happens with Best Picture, it’s a certainty that Oscars’ perfect record of never having an openly gay winner in the four acting categories will remain intact.
None of the 20 actors or actresses nominated in lead or supporting categories are known to be gay or bisexual.
In fact, since the Oscars were first presented in 1929, less than a handful of acting nominees now known to be gay were out publicly when they won.
Jodie Foster, best actress winner for The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs came out more than 20 years after her wins.
Joel Grey, winner of the 1972 supporting actor for Cabaret, came out more than 40 years after his win.
The late John Gielgud, winner of the 1982 supporting actor Oscar for Arthur, was known to be gay in his personal life but he did not ever discuss it publicly.
But there have been plenty of openly gay winners in other categories.
They include screenplay winners Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Bill Condon (Gods & Monsters), Alan Ball (American Beauty) and Pedro Almodóvar (Talk to Her).
Out artists have also been well-represented in the Best Original Song category with two wins by Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) whose second Oscar was accepted posthumously by his partner Bill Rauch. It was the first Academy Award given to someone who lost their life to AIDS.
Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim won for his song from Dick Tracy, Elton John for one of his songs in The Lion King and Melissa Etheridge for a song in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Then last year Sam Smith won for the theme from the James Bond film Spectre and mistakenly claimed to be the first openly gay Oscar winner.
He wasn’t the first and hopefully won’t be the last.
Late night talk show host Seth Meyers slammed US President Donald Trump and his administration for not supporting protections for transgender kids in school.
In a segment Thursday on NBC’s Late Night Meyers asked: ‘What are you doing?
‘As I understand it, you were elected to bring jobs back to the U.S. Now you don’t want to let transgender kids use the bathroom of the gender they identify with? Do you think that’s why the auto industry went to Mexico? For the bathrooms?
‘First you demonize Muslims, then immigrants, and now the transgender community. Hey, just because you want to bring back coal mining doesn’t mean you have to bring back everything from the 1800s.’
Trump’s administration this week rescinded federal guidelines put in place last year to protect transgender students at school – including when it comes to using the bathroom.
Meyers reminded Trump that during his campaign for the presidency, he claimed to be a friend of the LGBTI community and even posed with a giant rainbow pride flag at one event.
‘During the election, you told the LGBT community that — and I quote — “I will fight for you.” Did you not mean to include the word “for”? There’s apparently this fear that transgender kids are using [these rights] as a ruse to sneak into restrooms and grab people by the genitals, but if you’re looking for the kind of person who would do that, you need to look no further than the Oval Office.’
After numerous break-ups and make-ups, I.T. specialist Oliver Hampton proposed to law school student Connor Walsh on the season three finale of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.
Adversity always brings this pair closer together and Connor’s kidnapping led them back together this time around.
‘You’re the most important thing in my life so whatever you want I’m here with you,’ Oliver said as the couple undressed.
‘We could move to California, we could make a million babies if you want. … Marry me. I mean it. Marry me.’
The show’s openly gay creator and executive producer Pete Nowalk won’t say if a ‘Coliver’ wedding will take place next season.
‘Of course there’s a chance of it!’ Nowalk tells Variety.
‘I can’t imagine what their wedding would look like. I don’t know if they’re the most traditional, so I would tell people who love weddings not to expect a gown and petals on the aisle.
‘But I think these are people clinging to each other and really diving into love in extreme ways just so that they can feel something nice, and that’s what I liked about that moment (of the proposal) — it was a bit of sweetness in the horror.’
Aside from the various twists and turns of the show’s murder plot, Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) and Connor (Jack Falahee) have been through a lot so far.
Most notably the shock of Oliver being diagnosed HIV-positive during season two when the two got tested together.
The far more promiscuous Connor remains negative and accepts Oliver’s status.
But it is Oliver who has had issues adjusting and the two split for a time for that and other reasons.
As Oliver re-entered the dating world, he found other guys to be not as accepting of his HIV status as Connor.
Ricky Martin was on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live last night and was asked who his first celebrity crush was. I can totally relate to his answer. ‘Saturday Night [Fever] with John Travolta,’ Martin said. ‘And that underwear scene where he stands up, sits down and he … even puts it in order. … I saw that movie back then like eight times and I didn’t know why.’ It all makes sense now!
This great looking guy is actor and musician Kendell Schmidt.
The 26 year old is best known for playing Kendall Knight in Big Time Rush and was also part of a boy band with the same name. The show lasted for four seasons and the band has released three albums and went on ‘hiatus’ last year.
Kendell launched a solo music career in 2014 and went on tour with his band, Heffron Drive. The band also released its first album Happy Mistakes.
Here’s a fun fact: When Kendall was nine years old, he was one of two young actors who were hired to be Haley Joel Osment’s stand-in and body double (they shared the same agent) in the Steven Spielberg film, A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He celebrated his birthday on the set, and Spielberg and the cast surprised him with a birthday cake decorated with Star Wars figures.
He has also played small roles on several TV shows such as ER, Without a Trace, Phil of the Future, Ghost Whisperer, Gilmore Girls, and Frasier.
Caityln Jenner has broken her silence on federal guidelines protecting transgender students at school being rescinded by the Trump administration.
Jenner, a staunch Republican, singled out Attorney General Jeff Sessions on social media today.
‘I also have a message for the bullies. You suck. You’re losers and you’re going to keep on losing. Because you’re weak, you pick on kids or you pick on women or anyone you think is vulnerable. Apparently even becoming the Attorney General isn’t enough to cure some of you of your insecurity.’
The guidelines were issued by the US Department of Justice under Obama and rescinded under the department now run by Sessions.
Jenner, 66, has been widely criticized for her Republican politics as the party continues to veer toward the far right.
But it would seem this latest move which has sparked deep outrage among the LGBTI community and its allies is too much.
Says Jenner: ‘I have a message for the trans kids of America. You are winning. I know it doesn’t feel that way today or every day, but you _ are _ winning. You are going to keep on winning so much you’re going to get sick of winning.
‘Very soon, we’ll win full freedom nationwide, and it’s going to happen with bipartisan support.’
Jenner, the reality TV star and winner of the 1976 Olympic Gold Medal in the triathlon, came out as transgender in 2015.
She also has a message for President Donald Trump ‘from one Republican to another.’
‘This is a disaster. You made a promise and you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.’
Television personality Ross Mathews won’t be shamed for being his flamboyant self – thank God.
During a press conference this week after his resignation from Breitbart News, disgraced gay right wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos said: ‘I get emails from mothers sometimes and they say “My son is gay and I was terrified that he was going to turn into Ross Mathews.”‘
Mathews, a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has responded with a classy Facebook video taking on Yiannopoulos’ unkind remark.
‘I guess he means that if you’re a bit flamboyant or different, you’re considered “less than,”’ Mathews observed.
‘My response is not about me … I am proud to be the antithesis of whatever that guy is. Whatever he is not, I want my face on that poster. … I am loud and unapologetically myself and proud and 100% who I am. And I preach that – preach loving every part of you.’
But Mathews doesn’t want anyone – especially flamboyant kids – to take what Yiannopoulos had to say to heart.
‘I’m afraid that the kids like me out there now will see his message and not my message. So I want every kid out there who is different, who feels different, who knows that they’re different to know that that’s good.’
Being different has led to a very successful career for Mathews who gained fame more than 15 years ago as ‘Ross the Intern’ on NBC’s The Tonight Show.
Then-host Jay Leno began sending Matthews out to red carpet events with hilarious results.
The gig lasted for more than a decade and many other TV jobs followed including his current one as host of Hollywood Today Live and as part of E! Network’s red carpet team.
As for Yiannopoulos, his professional prospects are not as rosy since a video surfaced of a 2016 episode of a podcast in which he seems to endorse clerical abuse and underage sex.
In addition to losing his job at Breitbart, he also lost a book deal with Simon & Shuster and disinvited to speak at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland.
Grace Slick allowed Chick-fil-A to use one of her songs but the Jefferson Airplane and Starship singer had an ulterior motive.
The 77-year-old rock star donated what she was paid to the LGBT rights organization Lambda Legal. The Starship hit Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now was featured in a commercial for the fast food chain on Grammy night.
‘Chick-fil-A pisses me off,’ Slick writes in an Op-Ed for Forbes.com.
Here’s why: ‘The Georgia-based company has a well-documented history of funding organizations … that are against gay marriage. I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when ‘Check’-fil-A came to me was, “Fuck no!” But then I decided, “Fuck yes.”‘
‘I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV,’ Slick writes.
‘Admittedly it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual. But instead of them replacing my song with someone else’s and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to “Check”-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.’
The outspoken Slick insists her Op-Ed isn’t an attempt at spin.
‘You might think I’m writing this just to cover my ass for allowing a company whose practices many find morally objectionable to use Starship’s music. Well, I haven’t covered my ass since the day I was born (except, maybe, in a pair of white Levi’s).
‘From the moment I agreed to license the song, I knew I wanted to set an example for other artists. I wanted to tell them, “Your art will survive and thrive. Do not let it be used by companies who support intolerance. Don’t be afraid to take a stand. You’re an artist; that’s what we do.’
The Tonight Show host has played this game with Tom Cruise and Ben Affleck, among others. Earlier tonight it was Neil Patrick Harris and Jimmy Fallon taking turns smashing eggs on their heads without knowing which are cooked and which are raw. Enjoy!
As you know, Andy Cohen doesn’t often get very serious on his late night show Watch What Happens Live.
But the openly gay host took a few moments this week to condemn the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri.
It turns out Cohen has relatives buried at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City.
‘This is extremely personal for me because my great-grandparents and many other of my relatives are buried there in that cemetery,’ Cohen said.
‘I don’t have to have a personal connection though to know that this is not who we are as Americans, and this certainly should not be where we’re heading.’
He added: ‘We are not even two months in 2017 and already there have been 69 reported bomb threats to [Jewish Community Centers] in 27 states. A synagogue was defaced, swastikas have been drawn on the subway here in New York City and now this.
‘This does not feel like a coincidence. We cannot allow acts of hate against anyone to become normal. We have got to do better as a country.’
Ricky Martin has been making a lot of talk show appearances the past few weeks but this one is so far my favorite. Wendy Williams does a good job with her questions, Ricky is relaxed and open and I just really enjoyed watching it – I think you will too.
It’s been more than 10 years since TR Knight came out publicly as a gay man.
It happened after former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Isaiah Washington referred to him as a ‘faggot’ during an on-set fight with Patrick Dempsey.
Speculation began and Knight chose to end it by releasing a statement which read in part: ‘I hope the fact that I’m gay isn’t the most interesting part of me.’
Knight, now 43, says in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly: ‘I had a choice. I guess I could’ve done the glass closet thing but I knew people who were living in that and it wasn’t an option for me. I just didn’t want to live that way.’
Washington was fired by the end of that season and Knight left a few years later after a ‘breakdown of communication’ with producer Shonda Rhimes.
‘Even though it was a little dramatic for a couple of years, every event led to something else,’ Knight says. ‘My departure from Grey’s led me to go back to New York, which led me to meeting my husband. He really is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.’
Knight married writer Patrick Leahy in 2013.
Since his five-year stint on Grey’s, Knight had appeared in Broadway plays, has had a recurring role on the CBS drama The Good Wife, appeared in the Hulu series 11.22.63 and is part of the ABC miniseries When We Rise which premieres next week.
He’s also reconciled with Rhimes and next month begins a recurring role on her ABC series The Catch.
‘It’s been fantastic> It leaves me with a very grateful and thankful heart to be invited back.’