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Wednesday Morning Man: Derek Ray!

Hard to believe, but TNT’s Southland is beginning its fifth season tonight.

I still remember when Ben McKenzie was getting in all those fights on The OC! Seems like yesterday.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Ben, it’s about another handsome fellow named Derek Ray who joins the show as the new partner of the show’s gay cop, John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz).

Not sure how long Derek will be on the show so let’s enjoy this handsome lad while we can.

He has many television credits including recurring roles on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of an American Teenager, ABC’s Revenge and A&E’s Mad Men. Derek has also guest starred on CSI, NCIS, True Blood, Prison Break and had a recurring role on Boston Public.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

Doug Spearman jumps to conclusions and kicks Thom Bierdz out of his house on “Old Dogs & New Tricks”


Ellen talks about her memorable Grammy night

Ellen DeGeneres was a presenter at Sunday’s Grammys but there has been more buzz about what happened to her off stage – and there is photographic evidence!

Cameras first caught Kelly Clarkson photo bombing Ellen and wife Portia de Rossi then Ellen was caught checking out Katy Perry’s breasts which were very much on display.

Here is video of Ellen telling her TV audiences about her night.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Hugh Jackman admits wife bothered by gay buzz

Hugh Jackman has always seemed to laugh off those ever-present gay rumors.

But for his wife of 17 years, Deborra-Lee Furness, isn’t laughing anymore.

‘Just recently, it bugs her,’ Jackman admits in the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter. ‘She goes: ‘It’s big. It’s everywhere!’ ‘

The actor, currently bulking up to resume his Wolverine character in a new X-Men film, says Furness has been spending time on the internet where she has seen the rampant speculation.

That’s pretty much all Jackman has to say about the topic to The Hollywood Reporter but Lauren Shuler Donner, his producer on the X-Men movies, vouches for Jackman’s heterosexuality.

‘I have seen him with Deborra since the beginning of their trip to Hollywood, and I’ve been on five movie sets with him and have never seen him stray, have never seen him eye anyone,’ Donner says. ‘I met him when he did Oklahoma! [at London's Royal National Theatre in 1999]. He was genuine, hugely talented. He was in love with his wife that day and still is.’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Daniel Radcliffe takes gay sex scenes in stride

The oh-so-talented Daniel Radcliffe has been working hard to leave Harry Potter behind in recent years.

There’s been lead the role in the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and his starring in the horror flick The Woman in Black.

Now there’s this: Kill Your Darlings.

If this doesn’t kill the boy wizard image, nothing will!

Radcliffe plays young Allen Ginsberg, the famed gay American poet, and participates in some unflinching scenes of gay sex.

Those scenes have been getting a lot of attention in the media. Radcliffe, an outspoken LGBT activist, wonders what all the fuss is about.

‘You never see a gay actor getting asked what it’s like to play straight,’ he says in the new issue of Out magazine. ‘To my knowledge, at least, there is no difference in how heterosexual and homosexual people fall in love.’

Gay sex scenes or not, Radcliffe knows it may take a very long time for people to think of him as anyone else on screen other than Harry Potter.

‘I’ve always said that it’s a long process, and in a way it may be a lifelong one,’ he admits. ‘It’s about proving to people that I’m in this for the long haul, and that I wasn’t just looking to get as famous as I could for as long as I could and ride that out. I love almost every aspect of this industry and I want to be in it, and if I could drop dead on a film set at 80, that’s how I’d want to go.’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lunch Break Video: On her 69th birthday, some Stockard Channing as Rizzo from “Grease”

She won an Emmy for playing the First Lady of the US on The West Wing, another Emmy for her performance in The Matthew Shepard Story, received a Tony Award for the Broadway play Joe Egg and was nominated for a best actress Oscar for her performance in Six Degrees of Separation.

Without a doubt, Stockard Channing is one of the greatest actresses of her generation.

So who do we remember her best as?

Rizzo of course! Leader of the Pink Ladies at Rydell High School in the best movie musical of them all: Grease.

Hard as it is to believe, because she always looks so damned good, Miss Channing turns 69 today. Let’s celebrate by revisiting her two big musical numbers from Grease.


FILE UNDER: Birthdays

My interview with Chris Kluwe: ‘I’m still the same person. I guess more people are paying attention now’

I’ve been writing so much about Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings in recent months so it was very exciting to find myself face to face with him last Saturday night at the Family Equality dinner.

He is taller than I thought he’d be and even more handsome.

He says life hasn’t changed too dramatically for him since he became a well-known LGBT activist last fall.

‘Mainly just more interviews (laughs). That’s about it,’ he said. ‘I’m still the same person. I guess more people are paying attention now.’

Kluwe had already been working to defeat the Minnesota ballot initiative that would have banned same-sex marriage in the state where he plays football. But he was propelled to greater fame when a withering profanity-lace letter he wrote to Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns went viral. That letter included such memorable phrases as ‘lustful cockmonster,’ ‘colossal foot-in-mouth clusterfuck,’ and ‘Holy fucking shitballs.’

Kluwe was incensed when Burns complained, in a letter written on official state letterhead, to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens when linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo made public statements in support of same sex marriage.

To Kluwe, LGBT equality is a no-brainer, simply something that’s time has come.

‘There’s a famous quote that the arc of history tends to bend towards more freedom, not less. You are really seeing that right now,’ he said. ‘Our generation’s civil rights struggle is for gay rights because there’s a subset of America that pays their taxes, serves in the military and is not treated the same as everyone else. That’s discrimination, that’s not what America is built on.’

Kluwe also talked about his upcoming book which comes out on June 25.

‘It’s called Beautiful Unique Sparkle Ponies,’ he said. ‘It’s some of the things I’ve written already but mostly new writings. The letter to Delegate Burns will be in there but a lot of new stuff mainly dealing with empathy and how there is a distinct lack of it in the world nowadays. Hopefully, it will be entertaining.’

‘I was just writing it and I hoped that people would be entertained and also educated by it,’ Kluwe said. ‘While it’s great that people latched onto it, it’s also kind if sad, the fact that we have to celebrate someone doing the right thing as opposed to pointing out when someone does the wrong thing. It should be news when someone does the wrong thing, it shouldn’t be news when someone stands up to someone else.”

FILE UNDER: Interviews, Sports

Wednesday Morning Man: Nigel Barker!

The very handsome Nigel Barker is a photographer, former America’s Next Top Model judge and current host of The Face on Oxygen.

Since I watch neither of those shows, I was not familiar with this handsome talent. But OUT magazine has a chat with him in its current issue so I familiarized myself.

Nigel is asked why he receives so much support from the gay community. He says: “The fashion business as a whole is run by people from the gay community. I imagine the community as a whole is interested in what I’m doing because I’m so open about everything I do. It’s a weird question for me. I like to think of the gay community as not the gay community. I just see people. I’m blessed to have anyone support the work that I do.”

And I LOVE what he’s planning for his next project: “I’m working on new film about a man named David Mixner. He’s a human rights activist and a gay rights activist and he is one of the most prolific men in the gay community. He’s become a friend of mine through Alan Cumming. We’re creating his life into a film and it’s really going to tell the story of the gay community and HIV through the ’80s and up until now.”

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

See Andy Cohen’s theory on why Chris Brown didn’t stand for Frank Ocean at Grammys

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Why Stephen Colbert thought Pope Benedict was coming out: “The guy hasn’t had a girlfriend in like forever”

As a recovering Catholic, I gotta say I’ve been so disappointed in Pope Benedict XVI who has said more horribly anti-gay things than any Pope in my lifetime.

So I laughed pretty hard watching The Colbert Report last night when Stephen Colbert showed a photo of The Huffington Post article on Benedict’s resignation which simply stated: “Pope Out”

Colbert went on to say he thought it meant Benedict was coming out of the closet!

“It makes sense, the guy hasn’t had a girlfriend in like forever and he’s a total catch.”

He also made fun of the 85-year-old for becoming the first Pope in more than 600 years to resign.

“Resign? The Pope is quitting? Popes don’t quit! God has a way of telling Popes when to retire – it’s called DEATH.”

“What’s Benedict going to do? Become a WalMart greeter?”

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Tuesday Morning Man: Ben Affleck!

Maybe one day there will be some kind of congressional hearing looking into how Ben Affleck was not nominated for a best director Oscar for Argo.

Since that snub, he’s won the prestigious Directors Guild of America (DGA) prize, the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards for best director and his movie is the front-runner to win the best picture Oscar.

An Oscar winning best picture that seemed to direct itself!

But hey, the snub seems to have helped give the best movie I saw in 2012 all kinds of momentum and has elevated Affleck to one of the biggest powerhouses in Hollywood.

Of course, anyone who say Gone Baby Gone and The Town knows he’s a terrific director but no one could have predicted this brilliant second act after Ben’s career stalled with clunkers like Surviving Christmas and, of course, Gigli.

But Ben has pretty much had me since Chasing Amy.

He’s one of those movie stars who I just love watching – even in bad movies! But he’s made a lot of good ones too like, of course, Good Will Hunting which he co-starred in and co-wrote with his BFF Matt Damon and won the Oscar for screenwriting.

He’ll have another Oscar on his mantle in a few weeks time – for producing.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

My night at the Family Equality Council dinner featuring Chris Kluwe, Darren Criss, Alec Mapa and more!

The Family Equality Council annual dinner in Los Angeles has become quite the hot ticket in recent years and I was among those fortunate enough to be invited to this year’s event held Saturday night at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios.

It was a star-studded affair with Alec Mapa the hilarious host and presenters including Sean Hayes, Andrew Rannells, Darren Criss, and Molly Shannon and the event’s co-chair Dan Bucatinsky.

Others I spotted in the crowd or on the red carpet were Glee, The New Normal and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, Lisa Kudrow, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Tuc Watkins, director Adam Shankman and a whole bunch of Bravo’s Real Housewives including the Beverly Hills trio of Kyle Richards, Camille Grammer and Brandi Granville.

All were on hand for a program that honored NFL star Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, NBC which was represented by its chairman Bob Greenblatt and a remarkable woman named Dr. Virginia Uribe who in 1984 founded the first program in US public schools to address anti-gay harassment and discrimination.

A live auction raised $10,000. The item? Six VIP tickets to Disneyland with Jane Lynch as your host. The winner? Sean Hayes!

In all, the event raised $465,000 for a group that is considered one of the most visible advocates for LGBT families and the largest provider of events, programs and services for parents who are LGBT and their children.

“We are there for our families,” Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler told the crowd. ‘We know that there’s so much that we need, have to do.”

Chrisler is ending her stint as head of the organization after eight years.

“It’s been an extraordinary privilege to do this work,” she said. “I leave knowing this work will continue. We know deep in our hearts that truth is on our side.”

I worked the red carpet and throughout the week will be sharing with you my interviews with Kluwe, Bucantinsky, Shankman, Bartha and Mapa.

Throughout the dinner, much fun was made of the award show’s decor which it was decided looked like the set of the late 60s-early 70s comedy show Laugh-In.

Said Mapa in his opening: “Could this set be any gayer? This set looks like JoAnne Worley farted!”

The first award of the night went to Kluwe who had slipped by virtually unnoticed on the red carpet.

By the end of evening, everyone was talking about him.

He’s the NFL player whose visibility as an LGBT activist grew exponentially last September when he blasted Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. in a withering, profanity-laced letter.

That letter, which included such phrases as ‘lustful cockmonster,’ ‘colossal foot-in-mouth clusterfuck,’ and ‘Holy fucking shitballs,’ was read verbatum – and with great flair – to the star-studded audience at the Globe Theatre by actress Molly Shannon of Saturday Night Live fame.

Kluwe’s masterful use of language and his well-reasoned sentiments in the letter to Burns caused it to go viral. He wrote it after the legislator complained to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens when linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo made public statements in support of same sex marriage.

Kluwe, a married straight man with two children, told the crowd that he wrote his letter and became an advocate for marriage equality before that mainly for the kids of same-sex couples.

‘The fight for gay rights is about the children, it’s about having access to the same laws, the same benefits, the same protections so these children can have every advantage and a chance to succeed at life,’ he said. ‘It’s about not having to worry about being bullied on your way to school or while you’re walking down the street. It’s about living in a stable home with parents who love each other and who just so happen to be the same sex.’

He added: That’s why I wrote my letter, that’s why I spoke out, that’s why I’ll continue speaking out against every single hypocritical jackass’ because ‘those people aren’t thinking about the children at all, they’re thinking about themselves.’

He brought the house down when he also said: ‘So I say fuck those people! … I say live your own life however you want to live it, I say love who you want – it’s nobody’s business but your own. I say treat others the way you like being treated with compassion, dignity and respect – the way human beings are supposed to act.’

Also getting a standing ovation was Virginia Uribe who, as a counselor and teacher at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, founded Project 10 in 1984. It was the first program in US history to address anti-gay harassment and discrimination in public schools.

It became a model for other school districts in the US.

“Things are happening so fast now so it’s difficult to remember how things were back in the 1980s,” Uribe told the crowd.

The recalled how Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony and the Traditional Values Coalition had called Project 1o a “misguided attempt at social engineering.” Republican Senator Jesse Helms even called the school principal to complain.

Uribe said the principal’s answer to Mahony, Helms and anyone else was always the same: “We are public educators and we serve all students.”

Although there are now more than 3,500 gay-straight student alliances in public schools across the US, Uribe knows the work she began nearly three decades ago is far from finished.

“The anti-gay bullying continues, and suicides,” she said. “Harsh rhetoric and cowardice of school officials makes it more difficult. There’s much work to be done.”

FILE UNDER: Awards, Benefits

Retired NY Mets catcher Mike Piazza on the rumors: “If I was gay, I’d be gay all the way”

I never thought about Mike Piazza much during his playing days with the New York Mets but I was vaguely aware that there always seemed to be gay rumors swirling around him.

I’m not sure why.

Anyway, Piazza has written his memoir which is out this week.

The New York Post has a story that touches on the gay stuff and other topics.

Here’s that portion:

(Piazza) believes the persistent whispers that he was in the closet began after Mets manager Bobby Valentine said in a 2002 interview that Major League Baseball was ready for an openly gay player.

“The whole episode was such a strange, incredible phenomenon . . . I still don’t get it.

“I don’t know where the rumor came from, although I’ve heard many theories, including one that I suppose makes the most sense to me, involving a former teammate and his agent.”

Piazza doesn’t name the instigators, and is vague about how the rumor spread from there. He felt compelled to address the gossip publicly, telling reporters, “I’m not gay. I’m heterosexual. I can’t control what people think. I can say I’m heterosexual. I date women. That’s pretty much it.”

Questions about his sexuality bothered him less than the insinuation that he was somehow phony. “I found it hugely insulting that people believed I’d go so far out of my way — living with Playmates, vacationing with actresses, showing up at nightclubs — to act out a lifestyle that would amount to a charade,” he writes. “If I was gay, I’d be gay all the way.”


Video: See the trailer for “Annie and the Gypsy” starring Cybill Shepherd and David Burtka!

Wait a minute here! How is there a movie starring Cybill Shepherd and David Burtka and I know nothing about it?

It’s called Annie and the Gypsy and it will be out on DVD on March 12.

Here’s the plot: A lyrical story about passion, friendship, and lost love. Artistic and romantic, Annie (Shepherd) throws a Spanish-themed dinner party filled with poetry and wine, but there is trouble before it even begins. As the pivotal experiences of her guests are shadowed by a visit from a mysterious stranger, the night grows into a bonfire of memories, visions, and redemption.

In addition to Cybill and Burtka, it also stars my longtime crush Bryce Johnson (Popular) and Queer as Folk alum Peter Paige who co-writes and co-executive produces the upcoming ABC Family series The Fosters.

Cybill Shepherd really is the queen of reinvention. She’s had her ups and downs professionally but she always comes back. From in-demand magazine cover girl to instant movie star in The Last Picture Show, Heartbreak Kid and Daisy Miller to television star in Moonlighting and her self-titled sitcom Cybill. She later made a splash as Martha Stewart in a pair of highly-rated TV movies then became a regular on The L Word. Now she plays Jennifer Love Hewitt’s hairdresser mom on the Lifetime series The Client List.

Look forward to checking out this new movie!


Nate Berkus says he was “enormously relieved” when his daytime show got the ax last year

Were you sad when The Nate Berkus Show went off the air last year.

Nate wasn’t!

The interior designer-turned TV star told old boss Oprah Winfrey, in the first of a two-part interview that began airing yesterday on OWN, that he was “enormously relieved’ to have the show axed after just two seasons.

“I felt exhausted, I gained 20 pounds, I felt unhealthy. I felt there was no way I could do a good job,” he says.

Oprah reveals that she had tried to talk Nate out of doing a show five days a week instead saying he would be better off hosting a weekly program.

“I’m ambitious and felt it was an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.

Oprah told Nate that if he wants to host a weekly show, he will have a home at OWN.

It sure pays to know the owner of a network!


Kobe Bryant tweeting against anti-gay slurs

It’s nice when one of the most famous athletes on the planet goes from calling a referee a “faggot” during a game to a few years later chiding someone for using an anti-gay slur on Twitter.

Over the weekend, LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant told a fan on Twitter to stop using ‘you’re gay’ as an insult.

‘Just letting you know that using (you’re) gay as a way to put someone down ain’t ok! Delete that out of ur vocab!’

When some called Bryant a hypocrite because of his own 2011 incident using a gay slur, he replied: ‘Exactly! That wasn’t cool and ignorant on my part. I own it and learn from it and expect the same from others.’

Patrick Burke, founder of the anti-homophopia in sports organization You Can Play, was happy to see Kobe’s evolution.

‘His actions are proof that athletes who use casual homophobia can be educated on this issue,’ Burke tells Outsports. ‘Athletes who are given a chance to learn from their mistakes can become some of the LGBT community’s most valuable supporters.’


“Downton Abbey” star Rob James-Collier on last night’s episode and why “ripped” LA stresses him out

Did you see last night’s episode of Downton Abbey?

It was a doozy!

the scandal that ensued when the gay footman Thomas (Rob James-Collier) kissed fellow footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers).

Thomas enters Jimmy’s room while he’s asleep and kisses him thinking his feelings will be returned.

They are not.

‘Thomas becomes besotted,’ James-Collier tells ‘Let’s face it, he borderline stalks Jimmy. He turns into an Edwardian sex pest. It’s pretty bad.’

Jimmy reports him to the bosses and it appears bad boy Thomas is finally going to have to leave Downton – and without a reference. But unexpected allies help him avoid dismissal.

The episode, as well as the recent one in which a family member dies, have allowed audiences to see some of Thomas’ softer side.

‘After he kisses Jimmy, he’s just completely distraught and destroyed and vulnerable, and you feel sorry for him,’ James-Collier says. ‘I’ve had people come up to me in the street and go, ‘Oh my God, Thomas made me cry last night, and I hate you for making him make me cry because I love to hate him.’ I’m messing up people’s lives.’

My favorite part of the Vulture interview is when the British James-Collier talks about visits to LA: “Beverly Hills is too intimidating. Everyone’s got lovely teeth, so you don’t want to smile. Everyone’s ripped, so you start working out at 4 in the morning and eating egg white omelets. I didn’t even know what that was and I’ve had three. My buns are killing.”

FILE UNDER: Television

Days of Our Lives: With a big secret to hide, Will and his dad Lucas fall right into Nick’s blackmail plot

Uh boy, you had to figure that Will trying to shoot former stepdad EJ was going to come back to haunt him.

His dad, Lucas, went to prison for Will’s deed and not only has Nick figured it out, he finds a way to tape them talking about it.

In flashback scenes, Will is played by Christian Massey, real-life brother of Chandler Massey.

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

Tuesday Morning Man: Kaskade!

Let me just say right here and now that until about 8 hours ago, I had never heard of this guy either by his stage name, Kaskade, or by his real name, Ryan Raddon.

But I was watching the Grammy red carpet arrivals with friends yesterday and there he was – my new dream man!

What I’ve found out is he’s a DJ and record producer whose DJ mixes have been big sellers on the Billboard Dance Charts.

Kaskade was reared as a Mormon and attended the University of Utah but was against the passage of Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative in California heavily funded by the Mormon Church.

“Part of the reason I’m so sympathetic—and anybody who knows dance music can understand this—20 years ago, it was the gay community that supported dance music,” the married father of three told OC Weekly in 2009. “I was going to these clubs. For me, it’s a no-brainer. Of course, everybody should have equal rights.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

Ellen DeGeneres checks out Katy Perry’s ample chest at the Grammys as Portia laughs it off

Yes, already posted a pic of Ellen and Portia at the Grammys earlier tonight but this was too fun to ignore.

The On the Air With Ryan Seacrest Facebook page posted the pic with this caption: Leave it to Ellen DeGeneres to actually do what we all were thinking. Portia’s reaction = priceless.

FILE UNDER: Snapped!