Mark Bingham was among the heroes on United Flight 93 who are thought to have fought their hijackers 19 years ago today. Their plane went down in Pennsylvania instead of a government building in Washington D.C. as was planned.
Mark’s inspiring story is the subject of the outstanding documentary With You and it is such a wonderful thing that so much video exists of Bingham from throughout what looks to have been a very full and happy life.
We see him in younger years then on the rugby field, in college, on trips abroad and through the eyes of his dynamic mother, Alice Hoagland, who was really something special.
Alice, who died last December, had done a remarkable job of keeping the spirit of her rugby-playing openly gay son alive and talked to my friend Karen Ocamb ten years ago about when he son came out to her.
“I became grateful then that Mark had enough confidence in me and love for me and thought enough of me that he wanted me to be one of the first people in his life to know something very fundamental and true about himself. Even though he knew that my attitudes towards gays was vague and not accurate. I would say that I was vaguely antigay –imbued with stereotypes. I’ve had to fight through that. I am one of those lucky human beings that has done an about face and rejected a lie and embraced the truth. But I wish I had had the courage and goodness of heart to do that on my own.”
“But it took my son to do that for me by acknowledging, by telling me – challenging my stereotypes and telling me, “Mom, I’m gay.” Because of him, I have gone on a different journey in my life. And with all the important things in my life – and all the accomplishments that I have – most of them have been because I had a little boy who grew up to be a man who set me on an important life’s quest.”
Wishing one of my most favorite actors, Chandler Massey, a very happy 31st birthday!
I’ve caught a few episodes this week of the Peacock series Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem and all I can say is BRING CHANDLER BACK FULL TIME! Will Hortoin is missed and so is the man who has played him best. So good to see Chandler back as Will this week in this miniseries of five episodes.
His 20s were most impressive as he won three Emmy Awards for his performance as Will Horton on NBC’s Days of Our Lives and earned three other nominations. He also earned a degree from UCLA, appeared in several films and TV shows as a guest star, and sang and played keyboard in the metal band And Still I Rise.
Chandler is the first actor in history to win a Daytime Emmy for portraying a gay character and is also the first actor from Days of Our Lives ever to win three Emmys, consecutive or otherwise. His portrayal was always so pure, powerful, and truthful from Will’s coming out to falling in love to becoming a father to losing his memory and putting his life together again.
Chandler is still doing some TV roles but the UCLA grad is also working outside of showbiz.
I’ve seen the 1987 film Maurice several times and each time it was a richer experience.
It was the first film I ever saw Hugh Grant in and since yesterday was the actor’s 61st birthday, it seemed like a good time to repost this interview from a few years back in which Grant and James Wilby, who plays the title role, talk about how attitudes to on-screen LGBTQ+ love stories have changed – both among audiences and film crews – since they starred in the romance together.
Based on the book by E.M. Forster, Maurice stars Wilby as Maurice Hall, a Cambridge university student who falls in love with Grant’s character at a time when homosexuality was still illegal.
Today I present to you a pair of scenes from one of my all-time favorite shows: Beggars and Choosers, a brilliant tongue-in-cheek look at network television that aired for two seasons on Showtime from 1999 to 2001.
The cast was first-rate and included Tuc Watkins of One Life to Live and Desperate Housewives fame, Charlotte Ross who went on to appear on NYPD Blue and Glee, Brian Kerwin, Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame, and the adorable William McNamara who I fell in love with when he starred in Doing Time on Maple Drive and Stealing Home.
These scenes focus on Tuc’s character, a gay network executive named Malcolm Laffley. He finds Jack, the macho star of one of his shows, Mountain Man, dropping in on him at home unexpectedly.
Jack (played by Bruce Campbell is an infamous skirt chaser. Not surprisingly, this mountain man skirt chaser is actually gay and has the hots for Malcolm.
Sadly, the video quality is not the best but Beggars and Choosers has never been released on DVD so this is as good as it gets. Still, Tuc gets more same-sex action here than he ever had on Desperate Housewives!
GLAAD has released a new exclusive interview with Lisa Rinna and drag performer Jackie Cox who are appearing together in the new Peacock streaming series “Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem.”
In the interview with Anthony Allen Ramos, GLAAD’s Head of Talent, Rinna talks about seeing Jackie Cox’s drag impersonation for the first time and Cox reveals why Rinna makes a good person to impersonate. Rinna and Cox also have a personal conversation about what it means to be a part of making daytime television more inclusive with greater LGBTQ storylines and characters, including revealing a preview of the “drag ball” that is happening on the streaming series.
Lisa Rinna on seeing Jackie Cox’s drag queen impersonation for the first time on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’:
“I didn’t know that it was happening and then all of the sudden people started saying ‘oh my god, you are a snatch game!’ Once I saw the show, it is just such an honor. If you are a character being played in snatch game, you have made it!”
Jackie Cox on why Lisa Rinna is an inspiration:
“What I love about Lisa is that she is willing to do anything, and that is something that I incorporate in my life! Lisa will say it, do it, own it, and sell it and that is what I aim to do in my life!”
Lisa Rinna on daytime TV becoming more inclusive of LGBTQ storylines:
“I think it is everything! We need to see that, kids need to see that. If they are going through that, they need to see it. It is so important to tell those stories, and I think daytime (television) has embraced it and they were early adapters. They embraced it early on, so I think it is fantastic.”
Jackie Cox on being a part of a more LGBTQ-inclusive story on “Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem”:
“It feels incredible! The fact that someone had the thought to write so much queerneess into this special was amazing to me…to introduce some new queer characters and some new elements, introduce drag, introduce people who maybe don’t fit the gender spectrum…it is so important for kids to see that…I think it is fun to watch with your parents.”
Lisa Rinna on how her character, Billie Reed, and Jackie Cox come together:
“There is a drag ball! The actors for the first time were getting ready in drag, they were so excited. I can’t even tell you, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen! These actors were so thrilled to be in their dresses and have their wigs on, I loved every second of it!
Jackie Cox on getting to fulfil a lifelong wish while filming “Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem”:
“I have gotten so many fan theories messaged to me. Are you Billie Reed’s evil twin? Are you coming to steal the jewels? And the answer is probably yes to all of it! When Billie and I meet each other for the first time, that was my favorite thing in my whole entire life that I finally got to do: the soap opera stare down!”
Lisa Rinna on how she thinks her character, Billie Reed, would react to the drama unfolding on her other show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”:
“She doesn’t watch the show…I don’t think that she has a whole lot of time for that kind of drama to be honest!”
Jackie Cox’s reaction to Kylie Sonique Love becoming first transgender winner on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 6″:
“This is so amazing…we have to keep pushing the envelope especially for all of our siblings who are not falling in the binary spectrum and beyond, those of us who are trans, those of us who are nonbinary. The more representation we can have on screen, the more winners we can have, the more daytime stars who are drag queens, I am here for all of it. Kylie Sonique Love did so amazing and she is incredible and I can’t wait to see what she does with this crown.”
Lisa Rinna on filming the upcoming reunion for “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”:
“I hate the reunions, everyone hates the reunions, that is just the truth. They are difficult. You get a lot figured out but it is a very long day…I look forward to having that moment so we can move on!”
Dancing With the Stars has not been very LGBT inclusive in its history. There’s been a Lance Bass here, a Chaz Bono there and a Martina Navratilova. But the show, which has never chosen Greg Louganis, is far more eager for the Bristol Palin types such as this season’s selection Olivia Jade.
I stopped watching years ago.
But I will make mention that out Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby will be one of the contestants vying for the coveted mirror ball trophy.
He tells Good Morning America: “In my former life before fitness I was a professional dancer. I danced for Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, so she’s used to busting a move.” The experience still presents some challenges, however, even for one of Peloton’s top instructors. “I’m definitely using muscles I haven’t used in a while because I’m dusting off those dancing shoes,” he added. “But I’ve built up the endurance on Peloton in my cycling classes so I’m ready.”
The Advocate reports that he’s not the only member of the LGBTQ+ family that will be doing so. Joining him is Jojo Siwa, who came out earlier this year and is making history as the first contestant to dance with a same-sex partner on the long-running series. It’s not yet clear whether Rigsby will dance with a same-sex partner as well.