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I loved the first episode of “I Am Cait” – especially the appearance of Esther Jenner

If I ever meet Esther Jenner, I know I’m going to want to give her a big hug.

She made me cry tonight while watching the premiere of I Am Cait.

The 88-year-old mother of Caitlyn Jenner had so much to say as she worked to process all that is happening to her child in front of the world’s eyes.

I was so moved by her determination to understand – to do the work necessary – and her total acceptance. It seems clear that she is just so happy to finally know her child, to know why the 1976 Olympic Champion had been so distant from her, and to be able to spend time with this authentic person who is no longer bottled up and hiding.

‘I was so proud of Bruce when he stood on that podium receiving that gold medal in Montreal. I had tears and the American flag was going up in the middle and I thought that I could never be more proud of him,” Esther said on the show. “And you know, I was wrong. Because I am more proud of him for the courage that he has shown. I love him with all my heart and I certainly love her with all my heart.”

Caitlyn knows she’s one of the lucky ones in terms of family acceptance.

“The tremendous amount of support I’ve gotten has been overwhelming, but you also have to realize it’s not this way for everybody,” she told viewers. “There are so many people that have struggled with family, who struggle with friends, who struggle with ridicule or not having financial resources.”

Sure, there was a visit from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West that was about little more than Kim going through Caitlyn closet – again – but the show is pretty terrific.

I look forward to next week!

FILE UNDER: Reality, Transgender

Snapped! Steve Grand in Baltimore!

The All-American Boy posted this on social media over the weekend: Backstage at #ClubHippo in #Baltimore getting ready to take the stage. #BaltimorePride

I ask you, does anyone rock a tight white T-shirt better than Steve Grand?

I think not!

FILE UNDER: Guy Candy, Snapped!

Quote of the Day from Armistead Maupin

“The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.

Armistead Maupin

(This quote from the Tales of the City author opens tonight’s premiere episode of I Am Cait)

FILE UNDER: Quotables

Showtune Sunday: Tribute to Liza Minnelli who returned to stage this weekend for first time in nearly a year

I’m so happy to report that Liza Minnelli is back!

Three months after completing rehab for substance abuse, Liza with a Z gave her first public performance Friday at the IP Casino Resort & Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was also her first concert since completing back surgery in September.

“There’s no performer like Liza,” says her longtime accompanist Billy Stritch, who’s worked with her since 1991. “It’s so great to be back on the road with her. Every night onstage with her is a thrill.”

Friday night’s appearance in Biloxi kicked off the first of a number of concerts she’ll do this year.

Here are performances representing each decade of 69-year-old Liza’s career dating back to the 1960s.

FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: John James!

Back when I was in college, we would pile into the living room of our dorm (Zura Hall at San Diego State) on Wednesday nights to watch Dynasty.We also watched the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys.

Who cares about Krystal and Alexis? I was in love with Jeff Colby who was on both shows!

I could not believe that Fallon (originally played by Pamela Sue Martin then later by Emma Samms) did not realize she was married to the absolute most handsome most perfect guy!

Jeff was played by John James who I thought was delish.

He’s 59 now, a father of two, and his most recent acting gigs have been recurring roles on As the World Turns and All My Children.

Before Dynasty, John was a regular on the CBS soap Search for Tomorrow.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2015)

Lunch Break Video: Meryl Streep rocks out in her new movie “Ricki And The Flash”

If you’ve seen Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia, Postcards From the Edge or A Prairie Home Companion, then you already know that she can really sing.

Now we will get to see Meryl sing again in her latest film, Ricki And The Flash, which opens on August 7.

She plays a guitar heroine named Ricki Rendazzo who returns home to reconnect with the family she left behind for rock ‘n’ roll stardom.

I predict this will become a solid summer hit for Meryl who in previous summers scored big with The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia and Mamma Mia.


The sweet moment when Kylie Jenner meets Caitlyn for first time and gets a gift from her grandma

The latest sneak preview of I Am Cait (it premieres Sunday, at last!) is my favorite so far.

The ever-present cameras capture the first time 17-year-old Kylie Jenner sees her father as a woman for the first time.

She enters the room amid much activity involving cameras and other preparations including her 88-year-old grandmother, Esther Jenner, getting make-up put on.

Hey, pretty!” Kylie exclaims as she sees her dad.

“Hey, baby! I didn’t know you were here,” Caitlyn says with a warm hug.

Later we see Esther present her granddaughter with a vintage photo: “I have a little present for you. I thought you should have this. It’s me when I was 17.”

The resemblance between Esther then and Kylie now is striking.

FILE UNDER: Transgender

Friday Morning Man: Michael Adam Hamilton!

For the last two years, Michael Adam Hamilton has starred in really good movies at Outfest.

The 10 Year Plan screened last year and Michael played a gay man who makes a pact with his gay best friend: they will become a couple in 10 years if neither of them has met Mr. Right.

It’s a fun and sweet comedy but I have to say I liked Michael even more in this year’s film Baby Steps.

He is so very good as a man whose boyfriend is determined to have a baby through surrogacy. The film follows their international journey to make it happen with plenty of interference/help from the boyfriend’s Taiwanese mother. Michael’s character really grows in this funny and sweet movie written and directed by Barney Cheng who also stars.

Michael also recently did guests spots on How to Get Away With Murder and State of Affairs.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2015)

Don’t miss chance to support “Dragstrip 66: The Frockumentary” about legendary underground nightclub

Want to give a shout out to the fundraising effort to raise money to make the film Dragstrip 66: The Frockumentary.

There are 19 days left in the crowdfunding campaign to raise $66,000 needed to complete post production, create a final edit and release, hire a music composer to create an original score, conduct further staff, performer, patron, and celebrity interviews and to screen the film at festivals.

Dragstrip 66 was a monthly, themed, underground nightclub in Silver Lake, Los Angeles that ran for an unprecedented 20 years (1993-2013). It featured live performances, cutting edge dance music, subversive drag, cross-dress and masquerade. Best friendships were forged there, longtime lovers and partners met there, and countless indelible memories were sealed there.

Dragstrip 66: The Frockumentary is co-executive produced and co-directed by Phil Scanlon and DJ Paul V. Vitagliano and produced by Scanlon.

You can donate money and find out about incentives HERE.

Must-see TV: “Back On Board: Greg Louganis” to premiere on HBO on August 4 – see some clips!

Greg Louganis is one of my all-time heroes so I’m very much looking forward to August 4 when Back On Board: Greg Louganis premieres on HBO.

The Cheryl Furjanic film chronicles the life of the Olympic diving legend who won two gold medals at the 1988 Olympics, two gold medals at the 1984 Olympics and a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics as a 16-year-old high school student.

The film traces Greg’s story from a difficult childhood, through his Olympic conquests, to a transformative post-Olympic life. It outlines the the discrimination and other obstacles he has faced throughout his remarkable journey.

‘I always wondered what happened to Greg Louganis,” says Furjanic. “When we first approached him, we had no idea that we would find him facing such difficulties. During the three years we spent making this film, one thing that became clear is Greg’s resilience. HBO is the perfect platform to reach both audiences who cheered Greg on during the Olympics and a younger generation who has never heard of him.”

Now 55, Greg was adopted before his first birthday and grew up in Southern California, taking up diving at age nine. Throughout a difficult childhood, he was forced to deal with depression, bullying and prejudice.

He thinks it is “Awesome” that the documentary has found a home on HBO Sports after traveling the film festival circuit.

“At times, it’s awkward and a little bit embarrassing to reveal so much of myself – it’s a true documentary,” he admits. “I am honored and humbled to share my story.”

FILE UNDER: Documentary, Sports

“My Beautiful Launderette” just released on DVD

Five years before he won the first of his three Academy Awards for best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis starred in the 1985 film My Beautiful Launderette which I saw in the theaters then many times on VHS.

After all these years, it has just been released on DVD!

In the film, Omar (Gordon Warnecke) hires his school friend (Day-Lewis), a former Fascist and current lover, to do the graft in converting his laundrette into a veritable palace.

This is an unacceptable role reversal for Johnny’s former bullyboy friends who are unable to understand his change of heart.

Day-Lewis is superb and sexy in this movie which includes a beautiful love scene near the end that takes place in the launderette.


Caitlyn Jenner talks about what keeps her up at night

I Am Cait will premiere this coming Sunday on E!

The latest promo has her in bed talking about what is keeping her up: “What a responsibility I have towards this community. Am I going to do everything right? Am I going to say the right things? Do I project the right image? My mind’s just spinning with thoughts. I just hope I get it right. I hope I get it right.”

“I feel bad that these [people] — especially young people — are going through such a difficult time in their life. We don’t want people dying over this. We don’t want people murdered over this stuff.”

FILE UNDER: Transgender

Highlights from Margaret Cho’s visit with Seth Meyers – Golden Globes, Joan Rivers & her mom

Margaret Cho and Seth Meyers had a fun visit on Late Night this week – love when Margaret does her mother which she does in second video. Enjoy!

Morning Man Encore: Matthew Worth!

Originally posted Aug 23, 2013 – not updated

Opera has a Matt Bomer lookalike?

Who knew?

Not me because if I had, I certainly would have featured this handsome baritone a lot sooner.

He’s Matthew Worth and his many credits include a recent run as Father Flynn in the world premiere of the operatic adaptation of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt (see video below).

Matthew’s career highlights include originating roles in two different world premieres: the lead role of William Shrike in Lowell Liebermann’s Miss Lonelyhearts with the Juilliard Opera Center and the role of the Coachman in Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good at Glimmerglass Opera.

(To see more credits – and there are many – see his bio HERE)

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Jake Gyllenhaal on recent gay marriage victory

Jake Gyllenhaal, robbed of an Oscar nomination for Nightcrawler, has the new film Southpaw hitting theaters this week.

He’s out promoting his flick and was asked about last month’s decision by the US Supreme Court on gay marriage which made marriages between same-sex couples legal in all 50 states.

‘When I heard about the news I thought, wow, how far we’ve come in a decade. And how far we have to go in so many things,’ Gyllenhaal tells BET.

‘I think hopefully something like that in terms of – the resistance of society and seeing that it’s possible to change was such an amazing thing.’

Gyllenhaal’s mom sent him the court’s written decision.

‘… How it was written, I thought it was so beautiful,’ he says. ‘And she said it’s all about love. My brother said to me a few weeks ago, all we leave behind is the wake of our lives, that’s all we have. And to know that [love] wins out sometimes is an inspiration to me.’

It’s been 10 years since Gyllenhaal was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as gay ranch hand Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain.

He is asked if it is considered less risky now for Hollywood’s leading men to take on gay roles the way he and co-star Heath Ledger did in 2004 when Brokeback Mountain was made.

‘Oh definitely it’s changed,’ he says. ‘I think playing a role and living a life are two very different things. I think telling stories, and all different stories, is what makes acting so great. It’s why I was really proud of Brokeback Mountain and everything it had to say. And it was an interesting journey to go on to learn about that world.’

The film won Oscars for director Ang Lee and for screenplay adaptation but lost in the best picture category to the less worthy Crash.

Gyllenhaal has gone on to star in such films as Zodiac, Jarhead, Rendition and Love & Other Drugs.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Days of Our Lives: Paul visits the Kiriakis mansion and bonds with his dad, brother and nephew

How very nice to see Paul bonding with his newfound family and to actually go an entire episode without running into Will or Sonny in the town square or the park. Paul visits brother Brady and his son Tate (and no annoying Teresa today!) then John drops by and they have some really nice father-son moments.

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

Laverne Cox talks about finally meeting Caitlyn Jenner: ‘She’s such a sweet woman’

Two of the most famous transgender women in the world met over the weekend at a private screening of Caitlyn Jenner’s new docuseries I Am Cait which premieres on Sunday.

Laverne Cox paid a visit to James Croden on The Late Late Show a few nights ago and said of the meeting: ‘She’s such a sweet woman. Loves her family. Just thinking about the paparazzi life that she has, I don’t want that life. … there’s no way she could have transitioned privately and I think she’s doing it very eloquently and beautifully publicly.’

Cox added: ‘What I think is so beautiful about this, my visibility and Caitlyn’s visibility, is that diverse representations of trans people in the media are so important. When I think about transitioning in my 20s as a black transgender woman who was working class and struggling to make it in New York City, it’s completely different than Caitlyn’s very public experience.’

FILE UNDER: Transgender

Check out season 4 trailer for “Where the Bears Are”

Where the Bears Are, the web series following the exploits of three bear roommates sharing a house in the hills of Silverlake, returns with seasn four episodes on August 24.

The show described as The Golden Girls meets Murder She Wrote with big, hairy, gay men and consists of 18 new episodes that will premiere every Monday and Thursday.

Here is the trailer for season 4 – there’s a lot going on here!


Wednesday Morning Man: Evan Todd!

This handsome young actor starred in one of the best films to screen at Outfest: Fourth Man Out.

He’s Evan Todd and in the film he plays a car mechanic in a small, working class town who comes out of the closet to his unsuspecting, blue-collar best friends.

Evan gives such a wonderful performance and was very nice the few times I talked to him at the festival.

He’s not just a pretty face with a hot body. Evan is a graduate of The Juilliard School and North Carolina School for the Arts and also studied Shakespeare at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

His next film is called Damsel and previous on-screen credits include Sidney White, Extremely Decent and Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.

On his Twitter page, Evan describes himself this way: I’m a producer and actor. I co-founded 2 nonprofits – and stART – and I make custom industrial furniture. I don’t like free time :)

artsINSIDEOUT is a group of artists who have been personally affected by HIV/AIDS, and want to travel to areas of the globe that have been hit hard by the AIDS epidemic to work with others who have been similarly impacted.

It offers arts training in a variety of disciplines, taught by an international roster of acclaimed artists and students at some of the country’s most prestigious college training programs.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2015)

Days of Our Lives: Now in therapy, Will realizes he’s done terrible things and has words of praise for Paul

Whaddaya know, Will Horton has a few therapy sessions and seems to be a changed man. His chat with Sonny is interesting and a little hard to believe considering how Will has been behaving. He’s gone from being pathetic and desperate to almost having some wisdom – all in a matter of days. He’s so wise now that he is counseling a pregnant Abigail.

How long will this new and improved Will last?

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives