celebs! hugging! greg!



Take the feed! Subscribe

Get GIH news via Twitter

Follow Greg: Twitter Facebook

Greg on Flickr:

NY Times has kind words for “The Rosie Show”

Rosie O'Donnell with Gloria Estefan and Wanda Sykes

The New York Times review of The Rosie Show describes Rosie O’Donnell’s new television effort as “colorful and spontaneous: the funny cousin who shows up for a family ceremony late and lets suitcases of clothes, shoes and presents spill out all across the living room floor.”

The review also states: It’s not perfect television, it’s amusing television, and a reminder of why so many other OWN programs, beautifully shot and expertly produced, seem so dull.

Among the “dull” shows is the show that follows Rosie’s each weeknight, Oprah’s Life Class which is hosted by OWN owner Oprah Winfrey!

First week moments cited in the article are celebrity interviews that are relaxed and often quite intimate. such as when Rosie and guest Wanda Sykes [pictured with Gloria Estefan] discovered that as little girls, they both fantasized about having children, not with a husband, but as single mothers. “I guess that’s what little lesbians tell themselves,” Rosie said.

Concludes the review: “The Rosie Show” is an OWN program that doesn’t ask viewers to look inside themselves; it just entices them to watch.

FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Out Stars

Adam Lambert graces cover of “The Advocate”

Adam Lambert looks sensational on the cover of the latest issue of The Advocate which, sadly, is no longer available on newsstands.

But if you subscribe to OUT, you also get a copy of The Advocate each month.

Since taking the national stage, Adam’s been scrutinized in the media for coming out on the cover of Rolling Stone, appearing in a provocative photo spread in Details, and for the pre-set conditions when agreeing to appear in a gay publication, Out, owned by The Advocate’s parent company, Here Media. Lambert sat with The Advocate’s Matthew Breen to discuss his new attitude toward the media, his relationship, and his upcoming second album.

Here are some highlights:

After the initial media blitz, Lambert shocked fans with his first post-Idol performance when he kissed his male keyboard player at the American Music Awards. Lambert admits the kiss was “a bit reactionary on my part.” “I think I was a little overwhelmed with everything. It was me reacting a little bit to that ‘you’re not gay enough’ thing,” he says. “At that moment for whatever reason I was like, ‘Well, is this gay enough?’ it was me being a little bit pissed off.”

Before American Idol, Lambert’s life was not defined by his sexuality. Now, that has changed. According to him, “all of a sudden it’s all about being gay.” He acknowledges that some good can come from that. “When I was a kid I didn’t have that many people to look up to. And if I’d had people in the public eye who were really up-front about it, it probably would have helped me,” he tells The Advocate. “I feel like this is a conversation [Advocate] readers will understand where I’m coming from, because it’s tricky–I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing sometimes. Seriously. No one teaches you how to be a gay celebrity.”

As Lambert prepares for his sophomore album, he admits the content of his new, as-of-yet untitled album is more personal. “Not matter what the genre is, it’s all very personal, even on upbeat fun tracks,” he says. He is also keenly aware of his fan base. “I pick up this kind of energy among young people that it might not be the coolest thing to say you like Adam Lambert’s music. People don’t think that I’m cool. So I love that I have the kids who are like ballsy enough to be like, ‘Fuck it, I like Adam’s music.’ I mean, I am kind of a nerd. I feel like there’s a collective eye-roll when it comes to me, in the media and just in general consciousness–with the exception of my amazing Glamberts, my hard-core fans who are the opposite.”

Read the full “Reinventing Adam” cover feature at:


Tuesday Morning Man: Barrett Foa! I never watch NCIS: Los Angeles, I was not familiar with actor Barrett Foa who plays tech operator/surfer Eric Beale on the hit CBS drama.

But at Sunday’s AIDS Walk Los Angeles, I watched as he took the stage with NCIS star Pauley Perrette and quickly appreciated his good looks and humor.

Barrett is 34 and grew up in Manhattan where he attended the prestigious Dalton School on the Upper East Side. He went on to study theater at the University of Michigan where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in musical theater performance.

After college, he landed the role of Jesus in an off-Broadway production of Godspell and made his Broadway debut in 2001 in the original cast of Mamma Mia. He joined the cast of Avenue Q as an understudy in 2003 and two years later was the lead.

Many other theater roles followed before he joined NCIS LA as a recurring character in 2009. He was promoted to cast regular last season.


FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Gary and Larry Lane’s “Hollywood to Dollywood” vies for spot in ArcLight Cinemas Documentary Festival HollyDollyJenPoster Outfest embraces Lane twins and their heartwarming documentary Hollywood to DollywoodThose spirited twins Gary Lane and Larry Lane are on their way to Scotland tonight for the UK premiere of their wonderful documentary Hollywood to Dollywood.

The film, which chronicles their cross-country trip to try and deliver a movie script they have written for their idol Dolly Parton when she is making appearances at Dollywood during the theme park’s 25th anniversary weekend, just won the 2011 Film Appreciation Award at the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival. It is the film’s sixth festival award to date.
Directed by John Lavin, Hollywood to Dollywood is among the films in contention to be included in ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood’s first-ever documentary film festival to be held in November.
The line-up will be decided by the public and voting began today at noon. The top ten trailers that nab the most votes will be shown Nov. 7-11.
Let’s make sure the film with the Lane twins is a part of this. It is so very good. The more people who see it, the better. In a rented RV they name Jolene, the Lanes and Gary’s boyfriend Mike Bowen embark on a road trip that is also a journey of self-discovery.  The twins open up about their fear of being rejected by their family – especially their mom – once the movie is out because through the film, they are very publicly coming out to everyone they know back home in North Carolina.
Youtube Voting -
Facebook Voting -!/ArclightCinemas?sk=app_187933831285064 (Lanes are on page 3 – vote – ID#0117)

(CLICK  (( LIKE )) After you view and that is a VOTE!!)

FILE UNDER: Film Festivals

Zachary Quinto says reaction to his coming out has been “universally, unanimously supportive” Quinto coming out publicly as a gay man has been huge news these past few days.

It’s always big news when a star comes out but there’s something about this story that really has people thinking. What deepens is, obviously, is the fact that the actor shared that he was motivated by the tragic suicide bullied 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer. which left him feeling “incredible despair.”

In an interview earlier today with MTV News in support of his new movie Margin Call, the actor said the reaction to his coming out has “been enormously supportive — universally, unanimously supportive.”

He added: “I’m really grateful for that.”

Zachary, best known for his role on Heroes and as Spock in the Star Trek movie, expressed well-deserved pride in the way he decided to share this news with the public.

“I feel like I made that declaration so that I can be a part of this conversation moving forward,” he said “I did it in my own time, on my own terms, in my own words. That’s exactly the way that I wanted to do it, and I’m really proud of that. When the time is right to continue the conversation forward, I certainly will do that. That’s why I took those steps in the first place.”

Get More: Movie Trailers, Movies Blog

FILE UNDER: Coming Out, Out Stars

Inspired by Zachary Quinto, ABC “World News Now” anchor Dan Kloeffler comes out on the air!

Dan Kloeffler Abc News AnchorThis is such a cool coming out story because it unfolded much like the way we gays sometimes casually come out to people.
Instead of looking someone straight in the eye and announcing: “I am gay,” we might find a way to mention, during conversation, that we date people of same sex.
But not many of us have the opportunity to make this kind of casual comment while on international television!
That’s what Dan Kloeffler, co-anchor of ABC’s World News Now which airs in the wee hours, did earlier today while reading a story about actor Zachary Quinto coming out publicly over the weekend.
“I’m thinking I can lose my distraction about dating actors,” he said to his co-anchor Yunji de Nies before moving on.
DanK_12.16.JPGHe has since elaborated on the ABC News website writing:  Because WNN is a show where you can offer some personality, I had a little fun with the story saying that I would drop my rule against dating actors. I’ve never shared that I’m gay on-air, even though I’ve been out to my family, friends and co-workers for years. In fact, an old boyfriend – now best friend – has always given me a hard time about not doing so. But for the same reason that Zach decided to come out, I too, no longer wanted to hide this part of my life.

There have been too many tragic endings and too many cases of bullying because of intolerance. As a kid I wanted someone to look up to, someone that could relate to the feelings I was having. Most of all, I wanted to know that it would get better.

And it did.

As a journalist, I don’t want to be the story, but as a gay man I don’t want to stand silent if I can offer some inspiration or encouragement to kids that might be struggling with who they are.

Major kudos for Kloeffer who joins such openly gay news anchors as Thomas Roberts, Rachel Maddow and ABC News correspondent Miguel Marquez. was formerly an anchor on MSNBC where he anchored overnight MSNBC Now news updates as well as First Look and on NBC’s Early Today.

ABC’s World News Now is also where Anderson Cooper got his start. Obviously, Anderson never made this kind of disclosure while thereor anywhere else. The overnight show has also featured a series of other very attractive male anchors including Ryan Owens and Jeremy Hubbard.

FILE UNDER: Coming Out, Newsmakers

Photo Gallery from AIDS Walk Los Angeles!

photoYours truly went a little crazy snapping photos yesterday morning while covering opening ceremonies of AIDS Walk LA – including me with Carson Kressley and Mike Manning as well as one with Jenifer Lewis.
I will cherish those – especially the photo with Miss Lewis who put on a big hat following her performance. There just doesn’t seem to be enough room in that photo frame for me, Jenifer, AND that giant hat. I’m quite sure it left an indentation on the side of my head.
Anyway, here are a collection of the photos that didn’t make it into any of the previous posts. I’m skipping the captions because you should be able to recognize folks like Drew Carey, Carson Kressley, Dot Marie Jones, Hal Sparks, Mike Manning, Pauley Perrette, Barrett Foa, Louis Van Amstel.
In case you don’t know the two men standing with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, you should: They are West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles.


FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Chippendales dancers pose for NOH8 campaign

CHIPPENDALES: Sometimes, photos need very little description. I think this one says it all!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Surging Andy Murray moves up to number three in the world, a struggling Roger Federer falls to fourth

Andy Murray Of Britain Celebrates

I’m as big a Roger Federer fan as there is (well, except for my friend Henry) but even I can’t quibble with the fact that Andy Murray is overtaking the Swiss superstar in the rankings.

Murray is on a tear during the autumn Asian swing of the ATP tour, capturing consecutive titles in Bangkok, Tokyo—where he beat Rafael Nadal in the final—and Shanghai. He has also won 25 of 26 matches since mid-August, the only loss coming to Nadal in the semifinals of the U.S. Open. will be the first time Federer has fallen out of the top three since June 2003—just before he won his first Wimbledon title. Roger made it to the finals of the French Open but has not won a tournament since January. He will also finish a season without a Grand Slam title for the first time since 2002.

Murray’s reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 in 2009 but has never finished the year higher than No. 4. Federer reached the final in Shanghai last year but skipped this year’s tournament, costing him valuable points. He is expected to return for the Swiss Indoors in Basel but still has to defend a number of points to defend after winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London last year.

“I’m still not guaranteed to finish at No. 3. I’m still going to have to win some more matches,” Murray said after the match. “But if you finish in front of Federer in a year, then there’s not many people the last five, six, seven years that have been able to say that.”

There is also no man who can say they have won 16 grand slam singles titles except for Federer. Murray, the runner-up at the Australian Open the past two years, has yet to win a major. He will have to do that to truly be considered a great champion.

Murray believes the gap between him and the top two players– Novak Djokovic— and Nadal—is closing.

“I don’t feel like I’m that far away,” the Scot said. “I just have to play better. There’s nothing else to say. I can win against Rafa. I can win against Novak. I just have to play better against them in the five setters.”

True that!


“Queer as Folk” alum Hal Sparks is a dad!

photoOne of the sweetest sights at yesterday’s AIDS Walk LA opening ceremony was when Hal Sparks walked onto the stage carrying his four-and-a-half-month-old son.
Michael Novotny a daddy? Can you imagine how fun a grandmother Debbie would be? She’ll have the kid at the counter of the diner in no time.
Oh, wait a minute. This is not an episode of Queer As Folk, the late great show that Hal starred in for five seasons on Showtime. This is real life and congratulations are in order for a staunch straight ally who has been devoted to LGBT causes since he was on the show.
Hal jokingly asked the crowd of 30,000-plus to keep it quiet and not wake his sleeping baby who is named Camden Harrison Sparks.
Hal said he couldn’t wait to show him photos of the day, when he was older, so he could see what he and daddy were a part of.
FILE UNDER: Straight Allies

Monday Morning Man: Josh Dallas! Prince Charming himself!

This is Josh Dallas, one of the stars of ABC’s new fairy tale-fracturing series Once Upon a Time. On the show, fairy tale characters that we know and love have been banished to the real-life town of Storybrooke, Maine, by the Evil Queen’s curse.

Of his role, Josh tells TV Guide: “He’s more of an Everyman prince who’s gonna do whatever he has to do to protect the kingdom. He’s a real guy who gets his hands dirty. I like that.”

Josh is 29 and grew up in Indiana.

While at New Albany High School at the age of 16, Josh received the Sarah Exley Scholarship ,a full ride scholarship giving to one American student every three years to study acting at the prestigious Mountview Conservatoire for the Performing Arts in London England. He was just 20 when he landed his first professional job as an actor with the acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company.

After spending 10 years in London in productions at Royal National Theatre, The English National Opera, The New Shakespeare Company, and The Young Vic, Josh returned to the US and quickly made a splash in Hollywood when he was cast in the feature film Thor.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

My recap of AIDS Walk LA opening ceremonies


It seems that every year I end up having such a wonderful time covering AIDS Walk LA that I quickly forget the nightmare it is to find parking. This year, I got lucky because a street space was open on Third Street at George Burns Drive by Ceders Sinai. That meant only a 25 minute walk to the opening ceremonies at Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente.

I checked in, found a place on the press risers to take photos from, and about 30 seconds later, Drew Carey was leading off the star-studded ceremony.

Literally, not a moment to spare.

Drew, who is far slimmer than we remember on his sitcom, was an outstanding choice to lead things off. He was heartfelt and grew emotional when he remembered a former co-worker who died from AIDS. He recalled this strong young man quickly deteriorate and remarked that he never wanted to see anyone else go through that.



West Hollywood Mayor John Duran shared with the crowd how he was diagnosed with the HIV virus back in 1986 and told to get his affairs in order because it wouldn’t be long. Thanks to breakthroughs in drug treatment, he and so many others are still alive and thriving.

The other mayor present, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, was fired up and determined to get the crowd fied up. He succeeded when he remarked that the men of West Hollywood are “hot!”

True that!

NCIS star Pauley Perrette, a staunch supporter of LGBT causes, is beloved and appreciated for all that she does – which is a lot. She raised more money at this year’s walk than any other individual participant.

She took the stage with Barrett Foa of NCIS: Los Angeles and this delightful pair managed to name off all of the event’s corporate sponsors by incorporating their names into a a cute little story.

It was brilliant – and wise – since there’s nothing that brings an event to dead halt faster than a listing of corporate sponsors even though their participation is crucial.

Things really got lively when Carson Kressley, the Queer as Folk alum who is currently competing on Dancing With the Stars, took the stage with DWTS pro Louis Van Amstel. These two oughta put together a show and take it on the road.

They are very cute together and Louis [see him take his shirt off in earlier post] told everyone how well he thinks Carson is doing on DWTS and urged everyone to vote for his friend.

“You are the most entertaining [celebrity dancer] of all of them,” Louis said.

Carson’s fellow Queer Eye alum Jai Rodriquez shared the stage with Dot Marie Jones of Glee who took her shirt off after Drew Carey bid $500 for it! [See related post].

Raquel Castaneda of The Real L Word [pictured, left, with a crown-wearing Carson Kressley) also participated in the festivities but previously announced “celeb” LaToya Jackson was a no-show.


Sunday morning’s singing entertainment, Jenifer Lewis, has many rabid fans but this mega-talent is also keenly aware that there are folks who might not know who she is, despite her countless television and film roles. So, she let everyone know that she was the original Effie in the workshop version of Dreamgirls before the other Jennifers – Holliday and Hudson – got their hands on the role.

It is clear that Miss Lewis could have handled the showstopper And I’m Tellin You I’m Not Going. She has so pipes and she knows how to use them. She got the crowd pumped up early on with the upbeat Dig a Little Deeper, the song she originated in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.

Then she returned for a wondrous finale of You’ll Never Walk Alone, the song walkers are traditionally sent off into the streets to. John Schneider has sung it as this event as has Anika Noni Rose and many others. But, I promise you, no one has sung it which the conviction and power of Jenifer Lewis.

She was in New York in the 80s and said sadly, “I lost so many.”

I know so many of the walkers appreciated her energy as the began their six-mile journey. She kept saying to the crowd as she worked up to the last chorus: “I see you. You look so beautiful to me right now.”

I was standing maybe 10 feet from the stage so I’d watch Jenifer say that then look out at the crowd to see what she was seeing and it was indeed beautiful.


AIDS Walk Los Angeles: Approximately 30,000 walkers raise more than $3,005,014 at 27th annual event

The folks at AIDS Walk LA have just sent me the grand total of this year’s effort: $3,005,014 was raised to fight AIDS and provide vital care for people living with HIV.
An estimated 30,000 participants filled the streets of West Hollywood and Los Angeles for the 6.2 mile walk which benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and 24 other L.A. County AIDS service organizations that offer care and treatment for people living with the disease and work to stop new infections.
P1050615“We are deeply grateful to them, and their tens of thousands of donors, for reaching out and making a powerful statement,” said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Producer of the event. “We are our brother’s keeper—we are our sister’s keeper.”

Since its inception, AWLA has raised more than $72 million for APLA and a host of other HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Los Angeles County.

“As we mark the 30th year of the epidemic in the United States, AIDS Walk Los Angeles remains a critical – and, in fact, the single largest — source of support for those who rely on APLA’s services,” said Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles. “With their incredible fundraising, AIDS Walk Los Angeles participants are changing lives, powering prevention efforts, and supporting advocacy work to defend the civil rights of all who live with this still-deadly disease.”


The T-shirts came off at today’s AIDS Walk LA!!!


Things were moving along in a dignified fashion at this morning’s opening ceremonies of AIDS Walk LA until Dancing With the Stars pro Louis Van Amstel started a strip show.

Well, maybe it wasn’t really a strip show but he did show us some skin!

Louis, who took the stage with current DWTS contestant Carson Kressley, was merely modeling the T-shirt that AIDS walkers got if they raised more than $150 at today’s event.

Carson complimented Louis on his “spray tan” but the openly gay dancer and choreographer said he came about the shade naturally.


Mike Manning brought the T-Shirt out to Louis and it quickly was clear that the crowd wanted to see The Real World: DC alum take his off too.

Mike, honored last summer by LifeWorks for his volunteer work with LGBT youth, slipped out of his T-shirt and revealed a very nice torso – even nicer than Louis.

Okay, maybe it was a tie.

Then Dot Marie Jones, who plays the football coach on Glee, took the stage with Jai Rodriguez and started talking about how she wanted to auction off her T-shirt to add to NCIS star Pauley Perrette’s total which was already the highest of any individual walker.

Drew Carey bid $500 and, yup, off came her T-shirt!

“You’ve seen one fat girl you’ve seen them all goddamit,” Jones joked.
Pauley was clearly delighted and Dot topped off the deal by signing Pauley’s T-shirt.

Love her fun spirit. She seems to be someone who had a terrific attitude before she became a bigger star and now she seems to really be enjoying the spotlight in a very spirited way.

I feel like I want to be her friend!

I’ll have much more from today’s AIDS Walk later today and tomorrow!


FILE UNDER: Benefits

Zachary Quinto says “incredible dispair” over Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide prompted him to come out

Actor Zachary Quinto described himself as a gay man for the first time publicly in an interview with New York magazine.

But the remarks in the interview are not his only words on the topic. On his website today, Zachary explains that the recent suicide of bullied 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer led to his decision to come out publicly: i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself – i felt deeply troubled.  but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life – i felt indescribable despair.  i also made an it gets better video last year – in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time.  but in light of jamey’s death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.  our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country.  gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying.  parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance.  we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world.  we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government.  i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.  jamey rodemeyer’s life changed mine.  and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner – i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me.  now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.  that – i believe – is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.


Zachary Quinto comes out publicly! down to write all about this morning’s AIDS Walk in LA but have to share this news first: actor Zachary Quinto, best known for his role as Spock in the Star Trek movie and for the TV series Heroes, has publicly identified himself as gay in a new magazine interview.

There are plenty of people who will say “Yeah, I knew that all along” and all the rest but it is always a wonderful thing when a high-profile person chooses to come out publicly on their own terms.

So congratulations to Zachary who plays a gay man on the new TV series American Horror Story.

Quinto was speaking with New York Magazine and talking about his role in the recent Broadway production of Angels in America when he mentioned being gay. Here is that section of the article:

Quinto has played a series of gay roles, including on Tori Spelling’s TV show So NoTORIous, and on the new FX series American Horror Story, where he plays the kinky dead owner of the haunted house, and has been outspoken about gay-rights issues. Last year, the Times, in profiling him for Angels, noted that “the blogosphere is rife with speculation about his sexuality” but that “he prefers not to feed the rumor mill with either substantiation or dismissal.” That has changed. A little while later in our conversation, speaking of the cultural bipolarity that can see gay marriage legalized in New York in the same year that yet another gay teenager, Jamey Rodemeyer, was bullied and killed himself, Quinto says, “And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?’ We’re terrified of facing ourselves.”

Less than two weeks ago, I posted the annual Greg In Hollywood Gallery of Out Heroes. I’ve just updated it with Zachary at the very top!


Good luck to all in today’s AIDS Walk LA!

AWLA 2011 Logo.jpgMore than 30,000 participants are expected at today’s 27th Annual AIDS Walk LA.

Have a nice walk everyone!

I’ll be covering opening ceremonies and have some posts later today.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran will speak about the current HIV/AIDS crisis in Los Angeles County and the vital work of lead beneficiary AIDS Project LA.

Confirmed celebrity guests include: Drew Carey, Raquel Castaneda (“The Real L Word”), Barrett Foa (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), La Toya Jackson, Dot Marie Jones (“Glee”), Carson Kressley, Mike Manning (“The Real World DC”), Pauley Perrette (“NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigation Service”), Jai Rodriguez, and Louis Van Amstel (“Dancing with the Stars”).

Jenifer Lewis will perform “Dig a Little Deeper,” the song she originated in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.” Lewis will close the Opening Ceremony with her performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Since 1985, AIDS Walk Los Angeles has raised more than $69 million for HIV programs and services throughout Los Angeles County, and has grown into one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in the country. In 2010 alone, 30,000 participants, many of whom were members of 1,600 corporate and community teams, raised nearly $3 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles and 20 other AIDS service organizations. For more information, visit

FILE UNDER: Benefits

Advocate Interview: “Weekend” star Chris New! thanks to Brandon Voss of The Advocate for alerting me to this delicious interview he has done with out actor Chris New, a Greg In Hollywood Morning Man alum and one of the leads in the superb drama Weekend.

Chris is candid and honest in the interview, much like his character is in the film! Here are some excerpts:

There has been criticism that the drug use and promiscuity shown in the film perpetuates the stereotype that gay men are all druggy whores. How do you respond to that?
If you watched Beauty and the Beast, you wouldn’t say that all beasts lived in castles and had magic mirrors, would you? So that argument is a bit silly. Whenever you have a character that portrays any kind of action, you’re never making a judgment that all people are like that. But the most important thing the drugs and sex aspect of the film is that the film doesn’t rely on those things to be interesting, and it’s not glamorizing it. What’s more important is what’s going on between these two guys.

Were there any extra challenges involved in shooting those very intimate sex scenes with Tom [Cullen], a straight actor?
Well, we were all understandably embarrassed about doing it. Andrew made a deal with us that we would film those scenes very quickly and then we’d all ignore that it ever happened and never talk about it again. Andrew actually spent the entire shoot with a towel over his head, trying not to look at us. Those scenes are what felt most like work.

There’s always a certain amount of controversy involved when a straight actor is cast in a gay role, primarily because of an argument that it’s stealing parts from gay actors. What’s your take on that?
It’s weird. I asked Tom if people have said things to him like, “Oh, you’re very brave to take this role,” and he said that yes, he has gotten that impression. But as the film gets a bigger audience, I hope that people realize that those things really don’t matter. It’s about who’s the best actor for the job. During the auditions, I read with various actors; some of them were obviously gay, some of them weren’t, and some of them we weren’t sure. We never asked, of course. Andrew just chose the actor that he thought could do the role the best. It’s a difficult subject. Maybe only straight actors should play gay roles because then you know they’re acting? I don’t know. Look, it’s obvious that people behave very differently toward Tom, being a straight actor playing a gay role, than they do toward me, being a gay actor playing a gay role. But I’m not very interested in dwelling upon it. It bores me a bit.


Showtune Sunday: All about Jenifer Lewis!,lewis.jpgI’m so excited about seeing Jenifer Lewis perform this morning during opening ceremonies of AIDS Walk LA.

She is a great ally to the LGBT community and was honored back in 2007 by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center with her award presented to her by the one and only Shirley MacLaine.

Jenifer made her Broadway debut in the musical Eubie! then was cast as Effie in the workshop of Dreamgirls. But when the show moved to Broadway, she was replaced by Jennifer Holliday.

Miss Lewis has gone on to have an eclectic career on stage (Hairspray) in movies (What’s Love Got to Do With It, Poetic Justice, Meet the Browns) and on television (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Strong Medicine, Girlfriends).

When you are as multi-talented as Jenifer Lewis, you really can do it all. Here is a sample of her musical performances over the years.

FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Joe Montana!

To call me even a casual fan of the NFL these days would be an exaggeration.

But in my 20s, when I was still trying to pass for straight, I’d watch the games with my college buddies and it was during this era that Joe Montana reigned supreme as quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

God, I had such a crush!

Joe was recruited by the San Francisco 49ers from Notre Dame in 1979 after leading the “Fighting Irish” to a Cotton Bowl victory in 1978.

What a superb athlete who was well-known for his ability to remain calm under pressure earning him the nickname “Joe Cool.” While a member of the 49ers, Montana started four Super Bowl  games and the team won all of them.

He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993 and retired from the game two years later. In 2000,  Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Now 55, Joe is still mighty handsome and still lives in the San Francisco area. He now owns horses and produces wine under the label Montagia.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)