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Oufest 2013: Ten of Greg’s Picks!

Outfest veterans know that putting your schedule together is like putting together a puzzle.

It’s a given that you can sit through 3-4 movies (or more!) on a weekend day but will they fit with the panel or the party you want to go to? Can you walk from the DGA to Harmony Gold and back in time? Will there be time for a sit-down lunch or do you pack some Clif bars and hope the parties have goodies?

Oh, it’s all so glorious and I love every crazy minute of it.

I’ve been sent some screeners and managed to watch some but have not gotten to them all. But below are some of the movies I’m going to recommend based on having seen it, on good buzz, or on knowing and trusting the filmmaker or the talent involved.

Concussion: (Friday, July 12 7 pm at DGA) Saw this film at the LA Film Festival last month and was completely blown away by the performance of Robin Weigert who should be a best actress contender. You are just fascinated by her performance and her lesbian suburban housewife character. She has an erotic epiphany after suffering a head wound and her unexpected sexual awakening leads to all kinds of excitement – and trouble. This film, from writer-director Stacie Passon, is damned good.

Bridegroom (Saturday, July 13 at 1:30 at DGA): I didn’t watch this on screener because I want to see it with an audience the first time.

If you saw the heartbreaking video It Can Happen to You, then you won’t want to miss this film from director Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women). It tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom and what happens after tragedy strikes and Tom dies. His family refuses to let Shane attend the funeral and cut of all contact.  But Shane did not remain silent about love, loss and took a stand for same-sex equality with his video that had more than 3.4 million views and has been expanded into this film.

Before You Know It (Sunday, July 14 at 5 pm at Harmony Gold): Wow. Was really bowled over by this documentary from director PJ Raval that looks at three stories of everyday struggles that come with aging and being gay. I was most riveted by a man named Dennis who after his wife dies, looks for love after a lifetime of being in the closet about being gay and cross-dressing. Dennis goes on quite a journey and is so quietly brave.

Big Gay Love (Sunday, July 14 at 4:30 pm at DGA 1): Haven’t seen this yet but plan to be at the screening because Jonathan Lisecki is involved. Jonathan wrote, directed and co-starred in last year’s hit Gayby. This time he only acts which is great because he is FUNNY! In Big Gay Love, Jonathan plays a sex-starved event planner who can’t believe his luck when a dashing chef (played by Nicholas Brendan) falls for him. But Jonathan’s character keeps cock blocking himself from getting closer to the guy in this film written and directed by Ringo Le.

Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (Monday, July 15 at 5 pm in DGA 2): I’m so glad I got to see this movie on a screener because I learned all about someone amazing who I did not know much about before. He is James Broughton, an omnisexual poet and filmmaker perhaps best known for his 1968 film The Bed. There is a wealth of archival footage and some terrific interviews including terrific ones with his much-younger partner who he left his wife for. The ex-wife is interviewed too and she’s lovely and honest enough to admit that after he left her, she found his newfound bliss “irritating.”

Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story (Sunday, July 14 at 6:30 pm at Redcat): I was sent a screener by the director Dante Alencastre and have not had a chance to watch it yet! But I think so highly of Dante and know how passionate he has been about the movie that I want to give it a plug. His movie tells the story of an icon of LA’s transgender community: Latina activist Bamby Salcedo. This candid documentary begins with Bamby’s life on the drug-addicted streets of Guadalajara and then we are taken through her recovery and blossoming as an outspoken activist. The film includes revealing one-on-one interviews with this tireless HIV advocate and tireless spokeswoman for the transgender community.

Out in the Dark: (Sunday, July 14 at 7pm at DGA 1 and Sunday, July 21 at 2:45 pm at DGA 2): I only got to see the first 20 minutes of this the other night and have not gotten to finish the screener but what I have seen so far is VERY SEXY. This movie from director Michael Mayer (he co-wrote the screenplay with Yael Shafrir) is about a handsome Palistinian psychology student who is closeted at home. He then meets a dashing Israeli attorney while in Tel Aviv taking a class and they quickly fall in love. This is the part I have seen so far. Still ahead are the parts where he gets stripped of his visa and kicked out of the family home and is blackmailed into becoming an informant!

Southern Baptist Sissies (Monday, July 15 at 9:30 pm in DGA 1): This is the return to the big screen for Sordid Lives writer-director Del Shores! It’s the film adaptation of his hit play about four young gay Texans who grow up as born again Christians. Each follows his own path in attempting to reconcile faith with sexuality. It was filmed before a live audience and Del tells me it was finished very recently – just under the wire. Cannot wait to see it!

Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro: (Wednesday, July 17 at 7:15 pm at DGA 2): This is a wonderful and fascinating film from director Heather Winters. It combines over twelve years of footage and narrated by their twin sons and follows legendary songwriter Desmond Child and his lifelong partner, Curtis Shaw’s journey to create their new modern family. You really are a fly on the wall and the movie really is made by the candid interviews given by Angela Whitaker, the close friend and soulmate of the couple who agreed to be their surrogate. Also in a film a bit is the godfather to the twins: Jon Bon Jovi!

Hot Guys With Guns: (Friday, July 19 at 8:30 pm and Ford Ampitheatre): This has been a passion project for writer-director Doug Spearman and I am so thrilled for him that he got his movie made and that it has such a prime screening at Outfest. Doug, of Noah’s Arc fame, had been trying to get the movie made – originally as a TV series if I recall – with himself as a lead. But as the years passed, he decided to go with a younger lead and found one in Marc Anthony Samuel of General Hospital fame who stars opposite Brian McArdle. They play ex-lovers still attracted to each other in this modern take on the old-fashioned detective story. Think Lethal Weapon is Gibson and Glover were gay and ex-lovers. I haven’t seen the movie yet but will be at the Ford for the screening. The buzz has been excellent.

Also on my list to see are the documentary Born This Way, the drama Pit Stop, Boys Shorts, Geography Club, Last Summer, Test, Free Fall, The Last Match and closing night film G.B.F.

For a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.outfest.org/fest2013

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Outfest 2013 kicks off tonight at Orpheum Theatre with screening of “C.O.G.’ and honoring Kimberly Peirce

Okay, it’s here!

Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival begins tonight.

NOTE: There are still tickets available for tonight’s gala. They will be available for purchase at the Orpheum Box Office starting at 5:30pm (cash or credit card only).

For the past 12 years or so, Outfest has been a highlight of my summer.

I’ve been watching some of the screeners, poured over the schedule and chatted with some of the filmmakers so there will be plenty of coverage here on the blog about the event for the next 12 days.

Although the festival will mostly take place at the DGA Theatre and nearby Sundance 5 and Harmony Gold theaters, there are also many screenings at the Redcat downtown.

And downtown is where we will be tonight for the opening night at the gorgeous Orpheum Theatre downtown.

Outfest will present its 17th annual Achievement Award to writer/director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss, Carrie). This is the organization’s highest honor and is presented in recognition of a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media.

Then it will be time for the screening of Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s C.O.G., based on the short story by David Sedaris.

The film stars Jonathan Groff of Glee fame as a recent college graduate who decides to get close to nature and the working class buy spending a summer picking apples in Oregon. He finds himself on a path of figuring out who he is and what he wants.

The filmmaker and star will both be in attendance. I’ll be covering the red carpet arrivals, the after-party and everything in between and have a full report for you tomorrow!

Am going to next post 10 films I don’t think you should miss and in the coming days, will be posting interviews with the cast and director of Hot Guys With Guns, Southern Baptist Sissies, and closing night film GBF.

For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.outfest.org/fest2013 or call 213-480-7065.

FILE UNDER: Outfest

Robbie Rogers is OUT cover man!

What’s great about having more athletes, actors and other public figures come out is the LGBT publications have more actual gay people to put on their covers.

So here is Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay player in the MLS league, on the cover of the new issue of Out Magazine – the sports issue that also includes chats with Greg in Hollywood faves Billie Jean King and Greg Louganis.

But for today, we focus on Robbie. Here are some excerpts:

There must have been accomplishments that you couldn’t enjoy because you were closeted.
RR:
I’d turned into a professional player — something I’d wanted my whole life — and wasn’t able to soak it in because I shut down emotionally and didn’t get to feel all of the emotions I would have as a normal person who’s happy with himself. Winning the MLS [Major League Soccer] cup, or being on the All-Star team, or going to the Olympics — those should be things you can be happy and excited about, but you’re still hiding inside yourself and you’re not comfortable in your own skin. Or moving to England and signing with Leeds, or even stuff like my sister getting married, or little birthday parties.

You’ve said that before coming out you hadn’t hooked up with any guys. Have you made up for lost time?
RR:
How do I answer this? I’m very conservative, but I have met some good people that I’ve hung out with. In London I dated a guy for a few months. He’s still one of my good friends, but it’s been tough to meet people in West Hollywood.

If someone wants to ask you out, what’s your advice on how to make a good impression?
RR:
It bothers me when someone tries to hook me up with a friend — “You’re gay, my friend’s gay, you’re gonna love each other.” It’s like, OK, probably not. It has to happen in an organic way, where someone introduces himself and is genuine and doesn’t want to talk about soccer straight out the gate. When I started dating this guy in London, I just went up to him. I’m sure I’ll meet someone in a random place– the grocery store or wherever.

FILE UNDER: Sports

Adam Lambert gets role on “Glee”

So Ryan Murphy had this little announcement this morning on Twitter: ‘I am thrilled to announce that the super talented Adam Lambert is joining the cast of Glee this fall.’

Cool!

But I guess this might mean that Adam won’t be joining American Idol in order to save the sagging franchise that made him famous?

Maybe he can do both!

Anyway, Ryan does not let on whether Adam will be a regular, will guest star, will recur etc. We also don’t know if he plays himself or a character.

But one thing is for sure, he will sing!

I’m thinking maybe he gets involved in the New York scene with Kurt and Santana and Rachel.

FILE UNDER: Glee

Showbiz legend Carol Channing on Johnny Depp playing her and the loyalty of her gay fans

At 92-years-young, Carol Channing is still so full of energy that she is going to appear in Fire Island later this summer for an event that will include a Q&A.

I can think of nothing more glorious than Carol Channing being Carol Channing.

Anyway, Michael Musto spoke with the showbiz legend about that and a variety of other things for Out.com.

In regards to her still-loyal gay following she said: ‘I am terribly grateful. I mean, gay men seem to always know who has talent before the rest of the public does, don’t you think? A stamp of approval from the gay community is almost a guarantee of success. Just ask Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, or Cher. I think they would agree.’

‘In San Francisco, they made me their Queen,’ she added. ‘They have a new Empress every year, but a Queen is for life. Isn’t that wonderful?’

Then, of course, there are all the drag impersonators.

‘It’s a huge compliment and I’m always honored, but it is hard to watch,’ she admits. ‘Every time I see someone impersonate me, I can’t help but think I must have a hormonal imbalance.’

What if Johnny Depp follows through on his long-rumored hope of playing Miss Channing in a film one day?

‘Wouldn’t that be great?’ she says. ‘People say, “But he is a man,” but it doesn’t surprise me at all. I can’t remember the last time one of my impersonators didn’t have a 5 o’clock shadow.’

After reading the Musto interview, I feel the need to post my favorite Carol Channing number: Before the Parade Passes By from her signature role as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!

FILE UNDER: Icons

See the gay kissing scene on MTV’s “Teen Wolf”

Okay, I’m going to have to post this with very little comment because I don’t watch MTV’s Teen Wolf and I have no idea why the hot body of one of the twins from Desperate Housewives starts to transform when he starts getting hot and heavy with another guy.

Wish i had more time to look it all up and provide some background but I’ll just let you watch and let you enjoy trying to piece it together yourself!

FILE UNDER: Television

Thursday Morning Man: Matt Harvey!

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey takes it all off for ESPN Magazine’s annual The Body Issue and I think this is a fine tradition.

Don’t you?

He was asked in the interview what he likes about his body. Here is his answer: “I take pride in not being injured. I know sometimes you can’t control that, but fortunately I’ve never had issues. Also, I have an athletic build. Looking good with your shirt off doesn’t mean anything in the game of baseball, but it’s something I take pride in. I’ve always been interested in my body and my health. I eat healthy; I don’t eat gluten. Anything I can do performance-wise and healthwise, I’m definitely doing.”

If he could change something about his smokin’ hot body, what would it be? (that’s not how the magazine phrased it btw!)

Matt says: ‘I can’t be as big as I want, because I have to throw a baseball and be flexible. My dad was pretty big in his younger days. I’d see his big arms and barrel chest and six-pack, and that was always something I wanted. But I have to pitch and I have to perform, so I can’t quite look like Rob Gronkowski.’




FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

See Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s farewell to “The View”

My sister is a regular viewer of ABC’s The View and I can’t tell you how many times, after the Hot Topics portion of the show, she would call or text me to say: ‘I hate Elisabeth!’

She was talking about, of course, Elisabeth Hassselbeck, the show’s resident conservative.

Well, today was Elisabeth’s last day on the show and I really doubt my sister will be checking in on her over at her new job as a co-host of Fox & Friends.

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Hasselbeck joined the show! She replaced Lisa Ling as “the young voice” with limited broadcast experience and being best known for finishing in fourth place on the second season of Survivor.

She annoyed me almost all of the time even during non-political segments because she never seemed as relaxed and natural as she does in this goodbye video.

FILE UNDER: Television

Greg In Hollywood chats w/birthday boy Alec Mapa

Was about to do a post wishing the very talented and funny Alec Mapa a happy birthday and realized I had never posted a chat we had earlier this year at the Family Equality Council dinner which he hosted.

So better late than never!

The conversation took place before the recent Supreme Court rulings but as we spoke about the recent progress in LGBT equality, Alec said: ‘We’ve taken a great leap forward politically.’

But being the host of the AMC reality program Showville (a talent competition) has shown him how far we have to go as a country.

‘It has taken me to the center of the country – I’ve been to Iowa, I’ve been to Oklahoma and as far as we’ve come, we have a really far way to go. There are gay teenagers out there who are living really, really hard lives because they can’t be who they are and they don’t feel safe. In their schools, they don’t feel safe to be their authentic selves. So while I’m excited about the progress we’ve been making, I’m always aware of how far we have to go.’

‘We live in a real bubble here in Los Angeles, we feel very safe and it’s not like that out there. People are living really challenging lives.’

And you should also know that on Saturday, July 20, Alec will be performing his hilarious show Baby Daddy at the Renberg Theatre (tickets are only $20). The show will be FILMED that night for a movie he’s doing. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Steve Grand item of the day!

Thought there would be no mention of All-American Boy Steve Grand today?

Wrong!

Steve, whose mind must really be blown by all that has happened in the past seven days or so, posted this message on Facebook earlier today: You guys are making everyday feel like a dream. ALL OF YOU did this. 1 week ago I uploaded a video onto youtube and then shared it on facebook with my friends. Thats it. Its because of you this music video has reached so many people are captured their hearts as I know from reading your comments and messages. You guys are going to change the world. Its our time now!

Your reactions and stories to the song are worth far more than any press I could get…. All I ever wanted in this life was to create something beautiful that could move people… but I gotta say some of this is pretty cool. Like being on the front page of the SunTimes in Chicago… so cool to see the place that I have called home through my 20s support me. And I’m next to the mayor. ‪#‎unreal‬

FILE UNDER: Music

“One Life to Live” star Tuc Watkins on parenthood, dating, and why he decided to come out publicly

I’ve been catching episodes of One Life to Live online and I can honestly say I would not be doing so if not for Tuc Watkins as David Vickers – a character who is kind of an idiot but who thinks he’s super cool.

Tuc continues to be wonderful in the role that he has played – on and off – for nearly two decades now.

The actor did an interview for the soap’s weekly web show so I thought I’d share a bit of what he said because, let’s face it, I love writing about Tuc Watkins.

On coming out publicly as a gay man recently: ‘I think a lot of people already knew that I was gay and it was just part of a natural progression really.’

On why he came out: ‘Having kids and being a dad, I was really excited to talk about my kids and that (surrogate) process and about what that was like and I couldn’t really talk about that without telling the whole story.’

On deciding to become a parent: ‘I wanted to change my life. i was in my early 40s and I really just wanted a life change. The thing that really galvanized for me is that I was ready to become a dad.’

On having twins: ‘Hillary Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a bigger village to raise twins.’

On finding a mate: ‘I think that will sort of take care of itself. Right now, anything besides the kids is sort of back burner. I’m a single gay dude doing this by myself for now.’

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Margaret Cho says John Travolta has been ‘made to live under this guise of heterosexuality’

Margaret Cho is probably saying about John Travolta what a lot of people are thinking – but she’s saying it on the record.

The Travolta “is he gay?” story is a tough one because I don’t believe in outing celebrities – even in cases where I know they are gay.

I don’t know anything about Travolta except that I’ve met and interviewed him several times and he was one of the nicest superstars ever.

But I have to share part of an interview Cho has given Queerty.com which asked her about some of the flack she took for talking about Travolta in her stand-up act.

‘It’s not even like I’m outing him, because it’s so obvious. That’s like outing Liberace,’ Cho says.  ‘All I’m doing is taking public speculation and joining it with what I know to be true.’
Still, Travolta has been married to actress Kelly Preston for more than 20 years and they have had three children including son Jett who died while still a teenager.

‘I think they are legitimately a family. But this is not about that,’ says Cho. ‘This is about whether or not celebrities have a responsibility to come out. Especially when their private lives are under such scrutiny. That’s sort of me outlining his choices, as opposed to me accusing him of anything or outing him.’

Cho herself is married to a man but is bisexual and in an open marriage.

‘I live so openly,’ she says. ‘But other people are not able to do that. And then they have to endure a lot of accusations and speculations. I was just trying to talk about that and talk about what that must be like.’

Cho says of Travolta: ‘Ultimately, I think he’s a good guy, and I think he is suffering, and it’s sad for somebody like that, who has made such a big contribution to film and to pop culture, who’s made to live under this guise of heterosexuality. I’m actually on his side.’

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Lunch Break Videos: Celebrating Gale Harold’s 44th birthday with some memories of Brian Kinney

I could never forget Gale Harold’s birthday because he has these wonderfully devoted fans who email me to remind me of it!

Gale turns 44 today and has not played Brian Kinney on Queer as Folk since 2005. He has since gone on to be in the cast of such shows as Desperate Housewives, Vanished, Hellcats, The Secret Circle and Defiance and done memorable guest spots on Grey’s Anatomy and Deadwood.

But this is a gay-themed blog and his portrayal of Brian is what we celebrate today in this series of clips. Happy birthday to this terrific – and really gorgeous – actor!


FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Andrew Garfield wonders why Spider-Man can’t be gay and involved with Michael B. Jordan

I already loved Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and now I love him even more.

Too bad I don’t think producers are going to run with his idea to have Spidey/Peter Parker explore his sexuality.

But if they do, apparently Andrew already has him cast.

‘I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire,’ Garfield tells Entertainment Weekly. ‘He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better—we’d have interracial bisexuality!’

Sounds good to me!

Marc Webb, director of the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is well aware of his star’s choice for a same-sex love interest.

‘Michael B. Jordan, I know,’ he tells EW.

The interviewer remarks to the director ‘Oh, so he’s heard this too?’ and he replies: ‘Uh, are you kidding?’

Aside from Jordan as the male love interest, Garfield offers these thoughts on Spidey: ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality?  It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?’

FILE UNDER: Movies

Wednesday Morning Man: Robert Kazinsky!

So yesterday when I posted the steamy homoerotic scene from True Blood, I did not know the name of the actor who was so sexily shaving the pretty face of Ryan Kwanten.

Well, readers were quick to write in and let me know that it is British actor Robert Kazinsky!

How could I not know who he is one day and now discover he’s kind of all the rage this week with True Blood and a new feature film, Pacific Rim, opening on Friday?

I pledge now to follow all that Robert does very closely because he is one sexy man! See the shaving clip HERE.

Robert is just 29 and is previously best known for his appearances as Casper Rose in Sky One drama Dream Team and as Sean Slater on the British soap EastEnders from 2006 to 2009.

Let’s hope he keeps it together as his star continues to rise because Robert has had some trouble in his past starting with being expelled from both Hove Park School and later, his college.

He was suspended from work on Eastenders for two months in 2007 and quit the film The Hobbit due to personal reasons.





FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

Video: See Greg In Hollywood talk about “All-American Boy,” “Big Brother” and more on Equality Radio

Oh, this guy again?

You bet!

The amazing story of Steve Grand is one of the topics I discussed during my segment with Randol White this afternoon on Equality Radio.

We also chatted about the disgusting racist and homophobic behavior going on right now in the Big Brother house, about my night at the Adam Lambert benefit concert last week and about Outfest which starts on Thursday.

Randol puts it all together on YouTube (below) complete with clips and video etc and, as always, I enjoy the heck outa doing it.

Video: “All-American Boy” singer Steve Grand talks tearfully about feeling like he was a “constant disappointment”


A reader accused me of being “obsessed” with Steve Grand earlier today.

To that reader, I say, I’m just doing my job – giving the people what they want!

So Steve appeared on Good Morning America today and got choked up talking about the shame he used to feel about being gay: “I felt like there was no way I could ever make (my parents) proud. I felt like I was a constant disappointment.”

Now he’s far from a disappointment as his song All-American Boy has created a huge buzz and, no doubt, paved the way for this openly gay singer to be a star.
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lunch Break Video: See True Blood’s Jason Stackhouse get help with a sexy close shave

I don’t watch True Blood, I just wait for the occasional homoerotic scene to make its way onto YouTube – and this one is a doozy! It involves cutie Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwantan) and a faerie named Ben (don’t know the name of that actor, will fill it in later!).

They are shirtless, each in need of a shave, and well, they help each other out!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Steve Grand’s modeling days as Steve Chatham!

What? Another post about Steve Grand?

Well, yeah.

And if it bothers you, these photos certainly won’t.

You see, Steve Grand is our new favorite gay country singer’s real name.

But when he posed for DNA Magazine back in 2010 in these series of photos shot by Tom Cullis, it as under the name of Steve Chatham.

He talked to The Backlot about the modeling: “I wasn’t sure how people would respond to the video; things on the internet never go away. I knew that my modeling pictures that I did previously — which I am absolutely not ashamed of! I don’t regret them or think they’re a bad thing; the human body is something to be celebrated — would come up.”





FILE UNDER: Guy Candy

Chris Carmack’s character of closeted gay country singer to be regular on “Nashville”

I had been catching ABC’s Nashville on and off through its first season.

Then arrived Chris Carmack’s closeted country music singer character of Will. I love how we found out: at the end of an episode, he leans in to kiss his male friend – a surprise to the friend and a surprise to us!

Anyway, it’s just been confirmed that Chris has been upgraded from recurring character to series regular for season 2!

“(Will being gay) was something I found out about after the audition when they called to gauge my interest in the role,” Chris tld TV Fanatic in the spring. “They floated that out there and it seemed, to me, a storyline that was really ripe for some great material. I said ‘Let’s go for it!’

FILE UNDER: Television