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“Bridegroom” and “Call Me Kuchi” tie for Outstanding Documentary prize at GLAAD Media Awards

The audience at last night’s GLAAD Media Awards got a bit loud at times – even during some of the speeches and presentations. But there was one part of the night you could hear a pin drop until the standing ovations that followed.

That was during the presentation of the Outstanding Documentary award.

Fresh off dominating the awards circuit for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was on the presenting side of things and told the crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel: ‘I wanted to be here tonight in solidarity with this community.’

She then announced that there was a tie in the category between two very different but very acclaimed films: Bridegroom and Call Me Kuchu.

Bridegroom, directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason of Designing Women fame, tells the love story of Tom Bridegroom and Shane Bitney Crone and what happened after Bridegroom died in an accidental fall at the age of 29.

Bloodworth-Thomason accepted the award with Crone and described him as ‘still the greatest young person I’ve ever met. … I was touched my Shane and Tom’s incredible love story.’

Crone told the crowd he had dreamed of falling in love and getting married as a kid but had often been suicidal as a teen because ‘peers and The Bible’ had convinced him he wasn’t worthy of another person’s love.’

‘I’m so thankful that I didn’t give up because I met the love of my life,’ he said, fighting back tears. ‘Tom Bridegroom. He loved me unconditionally and he changed my life forever. I miss him more than anything but I’ll forever be grateful for the six years that we had together.’

Nyong’o next announced Call Me Kuchi, co-directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall as the other winner.

Their film explores the struggles of the LGBT community in Uganda and on the 2011 murder of LGBT activist David Kato who was killed shortly in 2011 after they completed filming. They had followed Kato was a year as he did his difficult work.

The filmmakers took the stage with Ugandan activist John ‘Longjones’ Abdallah Wambere to accept the award and a complete hush fell over the crowd as Wambere spoke.

‘We continue the fight in David’s memory,’ Wambere said. ‘We were devastated but not defeated.’

Wambere hopes the GLAAD award will lead to more people seeing the film and becoming aware of the plight of people in his country.

He spoke of the recent anti-gay bill that was signed into law in his country recently and said that since then people have been ‘humiliated, kidnapped and jailed. Some have even attempted to take their own lives.’

‘LGBT people exist in Africa and we are fighting for our lives.’


GLAAD’s highest honor presented to Laverne Cox at GLAAD Media Awards by Ellen Page

It was so nice to see Ellen Page show up at the GLAAD Media Awards last night and say one of the great things about being out is that she can pay tribute to those who inspire her.

One of those people in Laverne Cox.

Ellen presented the Orange is the New Black star with GLAAD’s highest honor  calling the trans actress an ‘LGBT icon.’

LaVerne received The Stephen F. Kolzak Award which is given to an LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in moving equality forward.

LaVerne proclaimed herself ‘overwhelmed’ and explained that she is not used to getting awards and that trans people ‘are not programmed’ to think such things could happen to them.

But she believes that can change and praised the media advocacy organization for its efforts on behalf of the trans community.

‘I’m so moved by the work that GLAAD has been doing, particularly over the past year, to make sure that the “T” is not silent in the LGBT community,’ she said.

‘For years, I was trying to have a career as an actor doing what I love to do most and was told repeatedly that they didn’t know what to do with me, and that I would not work.’

LaVerne grew emotional when thanking her longtime agent then was surprised by her mother who walked onto the stage to present her with a bouquet of roses.

The actress returned to the microphone to thank her mother ‘for letting me stay in dance classes and letting me do what I love.’


GLAAD Media Awards: Honoree Jennifer Lopez graciously accepts the Vanguard Award

Jennifer Lopez sure was a class act at last night’s GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills.

I’ve always been sort of indifferent to JLo but I was really impressed with her as she paid emotional tribute to her ‘way cool’ lesbian aunt as she accepted the Vanguard Award.

‘Her struggles were mostly kept to herself,’ she said of her late aunt. ‘Tonight, I know she’s proud of me and everybody here.’

The Vanguard Award is presented to a media professional, who – through their work – has made a significant difference in support of LGBT equality.

JLo said it was her aunt’s memory and influence on her that helped her decide to produce ABC Family’s The Fosters which won the Outstanding Drama Series award just before Lopez was presented hers by Rita Moreno.

The sexy Moreno said of Lopez: ‘Jennifer knew she’d get shit from anti-gay haters and she did. But she didn’t care. Everything this woman touches is golden.’

The show centers on a lesbian couple and their brood of biological and foster children.

‘We are so proud of this show, because our biggest hope is that it’s outstanding because it is doing the same for young people – helping them feel loved, understood, included – as Rita did for me, and as GLAAD does today,’ Lopez said.

‘I knew the show would be controversial,’ she added. ‘I decided to listen to my heart and my gut and said yes. I’ve always felt a tremendous love for the LGBT community.’

She concluded her well-received speech by saying: ‘The world is changing and that’s because love is stronger than hate … Love is love. That’s what I tell my children every day.’


Are you ready for “True Tori”?

When reports had the Tori-Dean marriage unraveling over a cheating scandal, I jokingly did a Facebook post on possible book titles about it for the author of such best sellers as sTORItelling and star of Tori and Dean: Inn Love.

Turns out my little joke, which some did not think was funny, wasn’t so far off the mark: On April 22, Tori Spelling’s revealing new show ‘True Tori’ will give viewers an in-depth insight into the actresses unraveled marriage to Dean McDermott.

Tori has a new ABC Family series with Jennie Garth on tap so why she agreed to do this is puzzling.

This is when she and Dean officially jumped the shark.

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Barbra Streisand on The Normal Heart: “I tried very hard to get it made … I’m glad it’s finally here”

Next month, the film version of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart will air on HBO.

It was nearly 30 years ago that Barbra Streisand first saw Kramer’s play and acquired the rights. But a movie never got made during the 10 years she held the rights and for decades after that.

Kramer has blasted her publicly for this.

Streisand tells here side of the story to The Hollywood Reporter. Here are some excerpts:

I tried very hard to get it made, but when it became clear that we couldn’t raise the money to do it as a film due to the controversial nature of the material, I thought, “All right, we’ll do it on TV.” At least it would reach a wide audience. But HBO would only pay Larry $250,000 for the rights, and he would not let it go forward for anything less than $1,000,000, and no company was willing to move on it.

In the press, Larry kept speaking out against me. But I think it’s unfair to keep blaming me for the movie not getting made. I worked on it for 25 years, without pay. Larry had the rights for the last 15 years and he couldn’t get it made, either. Those are the facts.

In 2007, he sent me a note before giving the project to another director, asking me again if I wanted to direct it — but only with his screenplay. As a filmmaker, I couldn’t have my hands tied like that. What if I needed changes? Sadly, I turned his offer down and wished him well.

I will always believe in Larry’s play and its powerful theme about everyone’s right to love. It’s been 28 years since I tried to get this piece made … so much has happened since. But I’m glad it’s finally here.


Days of Our Lives: Cousin Julie is having a hissy fit over Nick not being invited to Will & Sonny’s wedding

No Will and Sonny today but their wedding is still on the minds of some in Salem – including Nick’s cousin Julie.

Julie blows into town after one of her cruises and starts stirring the pot right away having a hissy that Nick wasn’t invited to the wedding.

She confronts Sami then later Sami has another confrontation that ends in a slap!

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

TCM Classic Film Festival Red Carpet: Kim Novak, Maureen O’Hara, Shirley Jones, Tippi Hedren & more!

I’m heading back out to the TCM Classic Film Festival shortly for a full day of movies that includes Double Indemnity, My Sister Eileen and The Best Years of Our Lives.

Last night, I saw Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? on the big screen with an audience for the first time (Bette Davis really should have won the Oscar for it!) and also saw The Heiress for the first time ever.

This festival is magic!

Last night things kicked off with a red carpet screening of Oklahoma! at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with leading lady Shirley Jones on hand. She’s stunningly fit at 80 and working as hard as ever. I chatted with her a bit as she made her way in. Will share that with you in a few days.

Didn’t get a chance to do many interviews because the red carpet was very long and we online outlets are way down near the end. But I had a close-up view of some movie legends like Kim Novak whose appearance may have been cruelly mocked at the Oscars but in person is still a stunning woman at the age of 80.

Miss Novak (Vertigo) chatted up another Hitchcock leading lady, Tippi Hedren (The Birds, Marnie). Miss Hedren was later greeted by Oscar winner George Chakiras (West Side Story).

It was a thrill to see 93-year-old Maureen O’Hara, looking very glamorous, taken down the red carpet in a wheelchair. She greeted the crowd in the bleachers with: “Thank you for coming.”

Alec Baldwin did one or two television interviews then quickly walked down the red carpet and into the theater.

Also doing interviews was Margaret O’Brien of Meet Me in St. Louis fame who had on a blue gown with blue-ish hair to match!

FILE UNDER: Red Carpet Chats

Thomas Roberts gets Gene Simmons look!

MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts posted this pic on social media this morning: “KISS’ Paul Stanley helped me achieve the Gene Simmons look today! Not bad for a kid who was deathly afraid of that band as a kid!!”

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Darren Criss is a terrific Broadway Blaine in “Glee”

The full-time shift to New York on Glee is really working for me.

But it would not be working for me so well if Darren Criss as Blaine were not such a major part of it.

He is just made for showtunes!

His duet with Lea Michele on Broadway Baby is aces and he’s like Sinatra singing You Make Me Feel So Young.


Morning Man Encore: Lance Parker! posted January 9, 2012

Today’s Morning Man isn’t shy about doing photo shoots with his shirt off.

Isn’t it great?

He’s 26-year-old Lance Parker, a goalkeeper for FC Edmonton in the North American Soccer League.

Lance played college soccer at Missouri State University and was twice named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference second team.

He made his professional debut in 2008.

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General Hospital: Lucas and Felix have a chat about Brad who they can’t forgive for his role in the Britt baby drama

Really loving this General Hospital storyline.

First of all, Brad is hilarious and tragic. He seems to have a good heart but he makes a lot of bad choices. He needs better friends than Britt!

Meanwhile, the two former men in his life – Lucas and Felix – cannot get past his involvement in the baby embryo switch.

Lucas has even more reason to hold a grudge: Brad had a role in keeping his cousin’s baby away from her.

Watch the latest.

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Neil Patrick Harris “thrilled” at Colbert replacing Letterman: “I’m a huge fan. Colbert is rad”

Don’t get me wrong, I think Stephen Colbert is a terrific choice to succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show.

I just had my heart set on Neil Patrick Harris wanting and getting the gig.

NPH could have become the first openly gay host in late night history.

He took to Twitter to congratulate the host of The Colbert Report: ‘I’m thrilled for @StephenatHome replacing Dave. He’s a fantastic choice. I’m a huge fan. Colbert is rad.’

Currently on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Neil was asked about the gig earlier this week during a press conference. He remarked that he was a big fan on CBS and of network head Les Moonves ‘so who knows?’

He added: ‘It would be an asinine amount of work.’

Harris also said he was ‘super-focused on Hedwig at the moment, so that hasn’t even been a conversation at all’ about replacing Letterman.

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Lunch Break Video: Ross Mathews and Wendy Williams surprise customers at McD drive-through

I make my coffee at home most mornings but I would’ve headed to McDonalds if I knew Ross Mathews and Wendy Williams were working the drive-through window!

This famous pair created an unforgettable morning commute with Free McCafé Coffee and lots of laughs as part of a McD’s coffee promotion.


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My chat with Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Jesse Tyler Ferguson really is the face of gay marriage in the US right now.

On Modern Family, his relationship with Cam (Eric Stonestreet) is front-and-center and in real life, the four-time Emmy nominee is a newlywed.

He and lawyer Justin Mitka were married in New York City last July.

I chatted with Jesse recently about the ups and downs of the gay marriage movement and here is some of what he had to say:

‘The thing with any civil rights movement is there are these bumps, these hiccups and when there’s so much charged energy behind it is really difficult to have those bumps. But that’s part of the burden of having a great civil rights movement.’

To read the full interview, go over to Gay Star News!

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Cheyenne Jackson is ‘amazed how quickly the press can turn on you. It’s especially true of the gay press at times’

Cheyenne Jackson had what he considered to be ‘a pristine reputation’ until a few years ago.

He was known mainly for his work on Broadway (Xanadu), television (30 Rock) and film (United 93) and had been with the same man for a decade before marrying him in 2010.

Then, it all changed in the summer of 2012.

Cheyenne split from husband Monte Lapka,  shaved his head and got a crazy tattoo.

It also became public that he was in a 12-Step program.

‘You know it’s funny, for so long I was seen as the All American blue-eyed sweet boy – that had been my image,’ Cheyenne says in the April issue of The Rage Monthly. ‘Because I was good at managing it so carefully, no one even knew that I had struggled with drugs and alcohol for 20 years.’

It turns out the shaved head and crazy mustache were for a role and that tattoo was a tribute to a family member. But the split from Lapka was real as was the fact that Jackson quickly became involved with someone else (actor Jason Landau) to whom he is now engaged.

The bad press hurt the star who returned to the New York stage this week for a five-night-only revival of the musical Most Happy Fella.

‘No one had really ever said anything bad about me and that was the hardest thing,’ Cheyenne admits. ‘With everything that has happened over the last year and a half, all of the stuff in the press, I kind of got raked over the coals.’

‘As much as I’d like to pretend that it doesn’t matter, it did,’ he adds. ‘I’m just like everybody else; of course I want you to like me. I’m amazed how quickly the press can turn on you. It’s especially true of the gay press at times.’

After it became public knowledge, Cheyenne has embraced talking about his recovery from drugs and alcohol: ‘It’s really been such a blessing.’


Days of Our Lives: During mini-honeymoon, Will in mood for romance while Sonny wants to find lawyer

On their mini honeymoon, Will is feeling playful and romantic while Sonny has other things on his mind.

Sonny, concerned about Gabi getting involved with Nick again, wants Will to find a lawyer to work out a formal custody agreement for Ari.

“I’m like Ari’s stepfather now,” Sonny says. “I just don’t want anything or anyone to separate us from that baby. … We need to get to (Gabi) before Nick turns her against us.”"

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Morning Man Encore: Jacob Young! posted Oct 18, 2010 – not updated

Jacob Young may only be 31 years old, but he’s already a veteran of three daytime soaps.

He currently plays J.R. Chandler on ABC’s All My Children and was previously Rick Forrester on Bold and the Beautiful and Lucky Spencer on General Hospital. During his 2000-03 run on GH, he won the Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding younger actor and was named “sexiest soap star” by People Magazine.

He’s earned two more Emmy nominations as J.R.

Jacob is also a talented singer who released a self-titled album in 2001 and spent four months on Broadway in the role of in the role of Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.

In a recent issue of Soap Opera Digest, Jacob was asked what song is guaranteed to make him get up and dance. I love his answer: “I have to go with David Bowie’s Let’s Dance! You’ve got to obey him – he’s the Bow-meister!”

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Greg In Hwood fave Jane Pauley to join CBS News

Jane Pauley, who had a 30 year career with NBC News, is joining CBS News, it was announced earlier tonight.

She will be a contributor to the CBS News Sunday Morning which seems like the perfect fit for her gifts.

Before I really knew for sure I was gay, I was a teenager with a crush on Jane.

I’d watch her on The Today Show even when I was in junior high school and thought she was so pretty, smart and classy.

I became a fan for life and was crushed when Jane left Today in 1989 after 13 years to become the host of Dateline NBC. She had been a part of my mornings for so long – through high school, college, and the first years of my career as a reporter.

After more than a decade on Dateline, Jane left and launched The Jane Pauley Show which lasted just one year and was canceled in 2005.

Then, nothing. No Jane for several years until she re-emerged on The Today Show with the monthly segment Your Life Calling about how people age 50+ are reinventing the way they live and work.

Jane, author of the 2004 memoir Skywriting and the new book Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life, began her career as a news anchor at a CBS affiliate in Indianapolis in 1972. So despite her decades at NBC, she said tonight that by joining CBS at the age of 62, “I’ve kind of come back home.”

FILE UNDER: Television

Geri Jewell: From “The Facts of Life” to “Glee’

This is cool news coming from Geri Jewell, best known for her recurring role as Blair’s cousin Geri on The Facts of Life and as a regular on HBO’s Deadwood.

Geri posted on Facebook today: Okay…..the BIG news……Yesterday I filmed an episode of GLEE! As to not be a spoiler, I am not allowed to mention story line, or my role….but it will probably air in two to three weeks. What a wonderful cast & crew to work with!! Currently I am gratefully gleeful!

Geri is an amazing person who came out publicly as a lesbian in 2011 in her memoir, I’m Walking As Straight As I Can.

Here is a LINK to my four-part interview with Geri from that year!


Lunch Break Video: See shy 14 year old shock a cynical panel of judges and audience on Aussie “X Factor”

This is a bit like the Susan Boyle situation where someone walks out not looking like Carrie Underwood and everyone assumes they will tank.

This shy young lady starts to sing and instantly blows everyone away at the Australian X Factor show.

Good luck to her moving forward!