Nothing like a big party benefiting some good causes.
Last night, there was a huge crowd on hand at the official grand opening of Jacqui Squatriglia and Chris Barnes’ Flaming Saddles West Hollywood.
WeHo Mayor John D’ Amico honored the co-owners with a proclamation from the city.
Also honored with a proclamation was special guest, platinum-selling country star Billy Gilman. 100% of the Grand Opening party gross proceeds went directly to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, now celebrating its 45th year.
Gilman tweeted after the party: ‘A fantastic night was had. Thanks to all who came out for the event! Together as a one voice we all can make the world a great place!’
An additional sponsor of the night was Ronnie Kroell’s FRIEND MOVEMENT, connecting conscientious organizations and caring people for universal acceptance.
One of my big tennis crushes has announced he’s retiring from the ATP tour after next year’s Australian Open.
That gives Lleyton Hewitt the chance for a nice, long goodbye.
Lleyton is 33, the same age as Roger Federer who has overshadowed him throughout most of his career.
But Lleyton accomplished a lot before Federer’s rise. He won his first pro tournament at the age of 16 beating Andre Agassi and three years later shocked Pete Sampras in the final to win the US Open. He won Wimbledon the next year and was ranked number one for long stretches in 2001 and 2001 winning the ATP Championships both years.
Lleyton is currently ranked #84 but can never be counted out. He beat Federer a year ago to win the Brisbane tournament and also won Newport Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
In all, he’s won 30 titles and more than $20 million.
After he’s through playing, Lleyton will serve as captain of Australia’s Davis Cup team.
We all know that superstars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won a screenwriting Oscar back in 1998 for Good Will Hunting – a movie that, unfortunately, did not contain a gay sex scene.
But the original script they sent to prospective film studios did include such a scene.
Harvey Weinstein, head of Miramax at that time, beat out the competition for the highly-coveted script because he took exception to it with the young writers.
‘In the meeting with them I said, “I only have one really big note on the script. About page 60 the two leads, both straight men, have a sex scene. What the hell is that? I don’t get it,”‘ Weinstein said recently on the Graham Norton Show.
‘And they go, “That’s the scene we wrote to see if guys like you read the script because every studio executive we went to hadn’t read it. You’re the only guy who brought it up so you get the movie.”‘
His dream comes true when the magazine’s next issue hits newsstands on Friday.
In the article, Smith opens up about some other things that happened as a kid: falling in love with a straight classmate in school and also being bullied for being gay.
He recalls writing a ‘really intense’ love letter to a popular classmate who was two years older than him when he was in his early teens.
The student turned out to be straight but instead of freaking out, he responded with a thoughtful letter of his own.
‘It makes me emotional, actually,’ Smith recalls, his eyes tearing up. ‘He looked out for me for the rest of school. He just made sure that if anyone took the piss out of me, he would stick up for me. He could have made it hell for me, you know?’
Others were not as kind.
He was once walking through town with his dad and someone drove by and yelled ‘faggot.’
‘I was just embarrassed that my dad had to see that, because I could only imagine how you feel as a parent. You just want to kill them. I was always embarrassed for the people around me. It actually never deeply affected me, you know?’
Another time, after he moved to London and came out, he was attacked as he walked around wearing make up.
‘I got punched in my neck, just out of nowhere,’ he says. ‘It wasn’t the easiest.’
This stunner’s full name is Anastasios “Sakis” Rouvas but he’s best known as simply Sakis.
He’s 43 and seems to be able to do it all – and he’s Greek.
I had not been familiar with him but have learned that he’s a recording, film and television artist, a model; a businessman and former pole vaulter.
According to Wikipedia, his single Shake It is the all-time bestselling single in Greece; his songs and videos, such as 1992, Aima, Dakrya & Idrotas, Ela Mou, Xana, Tora Arhizoun Ta Dyskola, Den Ehei Sidera I Kardia Sou, Ypirhes Panta, Antexa, Se Thelo San Trelos and + Se Thelo, have topped the popular Greek charts.
He was host of his country’s The X Factor for three seasons and has appeared in several feature films.
Nothing has been announced or confirmed but everybody is talking about Bruce Jenner.
Yesterday his stepdaughter Kim Kardashian talked about the 1976 Olympic gold medalist being on a ‘journey’ and that it was his story to tell.
Bruce isn’t talking.
But that didn’t stop the ladies of The Talk from weighing in on a reported reality show that will feature his transition from male to female.
Keep in mind there is no official confirmation on a show or that Bruce is transitioning.
On The Talk, Sharon Osbourne said: “I admire him. I think he’s amazingly brave and I think that he will help so many people by coming out. People can relate to him and see there’s no shame in it…I just applaud him.”
Way back when, the only thing I ever watched on Bravo was Inside the Actors Studio.
But now it’s all Housewives and Andy – not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Still, I’m glad there’s still an occasional Actors Studio episode and that the next one – to air Feb. 12 – will feature Neil Patrick Harris.
He discusses his already long career with host James Lipton including his two career changing roles in the Harold & Kumar flicks and on How I Met Your Mother.
Of the former he says: “There was something ironic and silly about the fact that the sweet innocent guy that you think you know is actually like super horny and tripping on some drug and is at the side of the road and steals their car.”
Of the latter: “I think Barney by design represented the single life that Ted should choose. Helpless, hopeless, single guy who just wanted to bang strangers as much as he could.”
Those of us who have been smitten by Steve Grand since that day in July 2013 when we saw his viral video All-American Boy have been waiting patiently – okay maybe not that patiently – for a full album from this gifted and gorgeous artist.
Steve is doing things his way. He raised $325,000 via Kickstarter for the project.
He tells Out.com that the album has allowed Grand him to follow an arc or storyline. “Each song needed to function as a plot point on that arc. A lot of things in life follow that trajectory, where there’s a beginning, middle, and end. Relationship do that, growing up does that, life does that.”
He adds that each song “explores some kind of relationship, whether it be a relationship with a romantic partner, a relationship with a friend, a relationship with the past, a relationship with something destructive, a relationship with a community.”
I’m always looking for a reason to post a few pics of Nick Jonas in his underwear.
He recently had a chat with Rolling Stone and talked a bit about posing in his underwear and courting gay fans. Nothing really new but let’s go with it and enjoy the pretty pictures.
Some excerpts: The photo shoot you did last year where you were in your underwear, grabbing your crotch, pretty much single-handedly jump-started your solo career. Did you know it was going to be such a big deal when you took the photos?
I had no idea. It just kind of happened, and now I have a lot of unexpected new fans. It was pretty interesting to watch it all unfold and travel in the way it did. It’s resurfacing at the moment, as another male artist [Justin Bieber] has done a photo shoot similar to it. It’s one of those things where I’m getting sick of looking at myself like that.
Between those photos, your role as a gay martial artist on the TV show Kingdom and your performances at gay clubs, you’ve become a new gay icon. How do you feel about that?
I don’t know if I’d necessarily call myself a gay icon. But my goal in the last year was to expand and grow as a person and an artist, and embracing my gay fans was a priority. Some of my gay friends have thanked me for that, and that’s a really good feeling.
Were you worried about backlash from your old fans?
Of course. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little fearful. But you have to be willing to say, “I know I’m pushing myself, and if not everybody comes with me, that’s OK.” I’m just thankful that a lot of them did.
Joel Grey, who won the Academy Award for his performance in Cabaret FORTY TWO years ago, has come out publicly as a gay man.
‘I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man,’ Grey tells People Magazine.
‘All the people close to me have known for years who I am,’ he adds. ‘[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.’
Grey, 82, has the staunch support of his daughter, actress Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing fame.
‘I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man,’ Jennifer Grey tells the magazine.
‘Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom.’
Grey is also the father of a son, James Grey, who is a chef. They are the children from his 24-year marriage to Jo Wilder which ended in divorce in 1982.
He recalls as a kid ‘hearing the grownups talk in the next room, my mother included, talking derisively about ‘fairies’ and men being dragged off to jail and even worse for being who they were.’
It was at this time ‘I came to realize, along with being attracted to girls, I had similar feelings for boys.’
Grey is best known for portraying the Master of Ceremonies in both the stage and film versions of the musical Cabaret. He has won the Academy Award, Tony Award, and Golden Globe Award for the role.
For now, he’s in the considerable shadow of all-time great Tom Brady.
But back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is just 23 and no doubt will have his own time to shine.
Jimmy was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft after playing college football at Eastern Illinois.
As a senior in 2013, he broke Tony Romo’s school records for career passing touchdowns, yards and passing touchdowns in a season. He also won the Walter Payton Award that season, which goes to the best offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Flaming Saddles has quickly become one of my favorite places to visit in West Hollywood.
Where else can you see the hunky bartender who just made you a drink just moments later jump on a stage and do a sexy country-western dance?
Tomorrow night is a big party that will feature the first public appearance by country music singer Billy Gilman (pictured above, left) since he came out publicly last fall.
Billy and the owners of Flaming Saddles will both be presented with proclamations from the City of West Hollywood.
The owners are Chris Barnes and Jacqui Squatriglia whose New York location of Flaming Saddles is wildly popular, They have made it their mission to break down the cultural barriers of one of the last bastions of homophobia: the country music genre.
“We are passionate about being vocal allies for the LGBT community,’ the couple said in a joint statement. ‘We love country-western music and if we can be a small part in the fight against homophobia, then we will.”