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George Takei urges Asian-Americans to vote

FILE UNDER: Politics

Poster and trailer of Streisand in “The Guilt Trip”

Who knows if Barbra Streisand will ever make Gypsy?

All I know is I’m glad her film career isn’t ending with the truly dreadful Little Fockers. She stars opposite Seth Rogen in the comedy The Guilt Trip which comes out Christmas Day.

Directed by Anne Fletcher, the film follows an inventor (Rogen) who invites his mother (Streisand) on a cross-country trip as he tries to sell his new product while also reuniting her with a lost love.

Judging from the trailer, it looks cute and will probably be big hit.

Amazingly, Streisand has only made 20 movies and just five since 1991.

Nice to have her back on the big screen.


Ricky Martin visits “Live With Kelly & Michael”

Drat, I missed this.

Ricky Martin, still going strong as Che in the Broadway production of Evita, guested on Live With Kelly & Michael this week and gave Miss Ripa a tango lesson!

Lucky bitch.


GLAAD TV report: Highest percentage of LGBT characters on broadcast television – ever

Remember when all we had was Jody on Soap?

Now we have Cam and Mitch on Modern Family, Kurt, Blaine, Santana and Brittany on Glee, Arizona and Callie on Grey’s Anatomy, Bryan and David on The New Normal, Louis and Wyatt on Partners, Max on Happy Endings, Mr. Wolfe on Suburgatory, and Teddy on 90210, among many others.

In fact, there are now a record number of gay characters on broadcast television, according to a report released this week by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

At the launch of the 2012-2013 television season, GLAAD estimates that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) scripted characters represent 4.4% of all scripted series regular characters on the five broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC. This is an increase from last year, with 31 series regular characters identified as LGBT. Additionally GLAAD counted 19 recurring characters on primetime broadcast scripted series.

The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable is up to 35 in the upcoming season. GLAAD counted 26 additional recurring characters on cable.

“This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, coworkers, and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives.”

ABC has the highest amount with 5.2% (10 out of 194) of their regular characters identifying as LGBT.

After leading last year, Fox is in second with six LGBT characters out of 118 total series regulars (5.1%). The CW will feature four regular LGBT characters out of 81 total (4.9%), while NBC will feature seven regular LGBT characters out of 166 (4.2%).

CBS also improved and will feature four LGBT characters out of 142 series regulars (2.8%), up from 0.7% last year. This improvement and the addition of a gay lead character demonstrate an authentic and conscious effort by CBS to improve its diversity, GLAAD says.

On mainstream cable networks, the number of announced LGBT series regular characters has also increased to 35, and will also feature 26 recurring characters for a total of 61 LGBT characters.

This year Showtime features the greatest number of LGBT characters on cable with 12; seven of which are series regulars.

Also making a significant contributions to the count are HBO (9 characters), FX (8), Adult Swim (5) and ABC Family, MTV, Syfy, and TeenNick (with 4 characters each).

Once again, this year True Blood is the most inclusive show on cable television with six gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.

“It is vital for networks to weave complex and diverse storylines of LGBT people in the different programs they air,” Graddick added. “When young LGBT people see loving couples like Callie and Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy or Degrassi‘s confident transgender high school student Adam Torres, they find characters they can look up to and slowly start building the courage to live authentically.”

LINK to report:

Video: In “Saturday Night Live” promo, cast member Taran Killam wants to kiss Daniel Craig!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Tom Ford is a daddy!

Following in the footsteps of Elton John, Neil Patrick Harris and Ricky Martin, fashion designer and movie director Tom Ford is now a gay celebrity dad.

Ford and partner of 25 years, Richard Buckley, now have a son, according to New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn.

Horyn tweeted Friday: ‘Congratulations to Tom Ford and Richard Buckley on birth of their son, Alexander John Buckley Ford!’

Ford, 51, came to fame as the man who turned around the Gucci fashion house. After 15 years, he left and formed his own film production company and won raves for his debut feature as a director: A Single Man starring Colin Firth.

Buckley, 64, is the former Editor in Chief of Vogue Hommes International.

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, here is what Ford said about having children just last year: ‘I always said I wanted to have children. And as I got a little bit older, Richard, who I live with – we’ve been together 24 years – did not want children. And so I decided not to have children. But if I have children, no one will know about it until the child is born.’

‘And no one will ever see the child because I certainly wouldn’t use it as a press tool,’ he added. ‘If I have a child, you won’t notice that I had a child. Maybe you’ll see it when it’s 18, but I will keep it out of the spotlight.’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Good Morning America’s Sam Champion announces engagement to photographer Rubem Robierb!

I just love this!

Was reading The New York Times story on Thomas Roberts and Patrick Abner (it’s online HERE) where deep in the story is this tidbit: Among the 170 or so guests at the reception was Sam Champion, the weather anchor at ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He took a turn on the dance floor with his partner, the photographer Rubem Robierb.

“We’re getting married New Year’s Eve in Miami,” Mr. Champion said in the spirit of the moment.

Mr. Robierb corrected him: “We’ll do it here officially, and then have a party in Miami.”

First if all, I do not recall Champion ever coming out publicly so it seems that this was as good a way as any to do so. Good for him!

After reading the story (I’ll have some excerpts about Thomas and Patrick later), I saw that Champion had posted the news on Twitter himself.

‘I’ve never been happier to share a bit of personal news!’

The tweet included a link to a story announcing the engagement.

‘We are thrilled and so excited and thank everyone for their good wishes,’ he says.


FILE UNDER: Marriage

My interview w/Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen: ‘Ex-gay therapy is nothing but child abuse. We must stop it’

Wayne Besen, the founder of Truth Wins Out, spoke last week at an event hosted by the La Gay & Lesbian Center and co-sponsored by the LA chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association of which I am president.

I was all concerned with attendance and who was there etc. but once Besen started talking, all I could think about was all the horrible damage this conversion therapy can do to LGBT people.

I had a recovered memory kind of a moment during the presentation. When I was in college in the mid-80s, my dorm roommate had left for Christmas vacation and it was the first time I could really use the telephone in privacy (no cell phones then!). I was so tormented about being gay and so not wanting to be that I opened up the pages of a weekly San Diego paper called The Reader and called an ad that promised to make you straight.

I remember talking to a guy on the line about it, my voice shaking, then after awhile started flirting with him.

I was hopeless!

Anyway, I’m lucky that was my only experience with it. My parents didn’t try and send me to this kind of therapy (banned in California this week for teens) because I was firmly in the closet, had girlfriends, and was determined to throw anyone and everyone off the scent.

But there are plenty of kids who have been forced to undergo this gay conversion therapy that just can’t and doesn’t work. I spoke with Besen about it after his presentation and told him about my college experience.

‘We need to look across the country where we can have this because ex-gay therapy is nothing but child abuse,’ he said. ‘We must stop it.’

Besen, a former spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, has made it his life’s work to fight anti-LGBT extremism and the dangerous ‘ex-gay’ industry. He’s the architect of a sting operation that proved for the first time that the clinic run by Marcus Bachmann, husband of former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, practices “ex-gay” therapy.

He says he’s well aware of what he’s up against.

‘Our opponents are not lying down, they are not surrendering, they are not raising the white flag,’ Besen says. ‘They are sincere, they are true believers. They will fight, they will scrap, they will claw all the way to the end. And just when you think they’re dead, like a horror movie they’ll crawl out of the grave bloodied and bruised and come after you again to fight another day.’

To read my interview with Wayne Besen in its entirety, please go over to Gay Star News.

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Gay couples on “Glee” reach a crossroads

Okay, pass the tissues.

Last night’s episode of Glee was so dramatic and sad.

Three of the show’s core couples reached a crossroads in their relationships and it had everything to do with post-high school separations and going in different directions.

Rachel and Finn (Lea Michele and Cory Monteith) had an emotional reunion in NYC but it’s clear that a rudderless Finn is in no shape to be with her or anyone else at this time.

But let’s get to the same-sex couples.

First Brittany and Santana.

They were cute together while they were cheerleaders and glee club members in high school but the return of Santana on a visit from college made clear that she needs/wants to move on. Naya Rivera as Santana is such a wonderful talent and I’m afraid this means we won’t see a lot of her this season. I hope I’m wrong.

Meanwhile, there is trouble in paradise for Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss). Blaine showed up in NYC an emotional mess and quickly confessed that he had cheated on Kurt!

He’s real sorry, wants to work it out but Kurt is devastated.

Since there won’t be any new episodes of Glee airing until November, we’ll have to wait to see what happens.

Either way, we’ll always have our memories.


Happy 40th Birthday to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts!

When someone turns 40, it’s typically a time to take stock.

Well, Thomas Roberts reaches that milestone today and if he’s taking stock, he must be feeling pretty good.

First and foremost, Thomas got married last weekend to the handsome Patrick Abner at a star-studded rooftop wedding in NYC.

And he’s riding high anchoring MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts at 11 am weekdays (8 am PST).

He does an outstanding job day in and day out and the ratings reflect it.

According to third quarter ratings, the show just had ts best 25-54 and total viewer numbers since the first quarter of 2009!

Congratulations on all your good fortune Thomas. It’s well deserved!

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

NFL’s Chris Kluwe does some beefcake for “Out”

When it comes to achieving LGBT equality, it is crucial to have straight allies willing to step up and speak out.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is one of those people – spectacularly so.

“I’ve always relished breaking that stereotype of the dumb jock athlete because while I enjoyed athletics growing up, I also enjoyed reading and video games, and athletic sport is not what defines me as a person,” Kluwe says in the new issue of OUT Magazine for whom he did a beautiful photo shoot.

For Kluwe, taking a stand on gay rights is as instinctual as planting his foot into a ball.

“It’s all about the Golden Rule,” he says. “Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s that simple. It’s something that needs to be spoken about, and it’s something I can do while fulfilling my job as a football player.”

Just as a reminder why we love Kluwe so much, here is his excoriating letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. who had the gall to tell the Baltimore Ravens to “order” linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo to stop advocating for same-sex marriage:

“I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government,” Kluwe’s letter started, reasonably enough. “Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.” Kluwe then went on to dismantle Burns’s position, point by point, culminating in a crescendo of wit and impishness — and that now-fabled coinage. It’s worth running the penultimate paragraph in full, if only because it does such a good job of clarifying the issues:

“I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population — rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?”

FILE UNDER: Sports, Straight Allies

Morning Man Encore: James Scott! posted June 28, 2010

So many great looking guys at yesterday’s Daytime Emmy Awards and one of them was best actor nominee James Scott.

In the world of soaps, actors are often not the first to play a specific role but James has originated both of his parts: he was Ethan Cambias on All My Children before joining Days of Our Lives as EJ Wells in May 2006.

James, who is 31, began his career working in the music industry, and later started acting in community theatre. Shortly after this, he made the move to London where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He later began to modeling and during a modeling trip to Los Angeles, he went to an acting class and was so inspired that he decided to save money and make the move to Los Angeles for good. Two years later, he was cast on All My Children.

Sounds like he made a good decision!

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

Dying Canadian man described as a ‘fag’ in his 1970 yearbook seeks an apology – and closure

This story deeply upsets me because I was a closeted gay kid in high school and being editor of the yearbook during my junior and senior years gave me a sense of purpose that prevented me from feeling real despair over having to hide who I really was.

I was diligent about my work on the yearbook and took great care with each and every page.

Unfortunately for Robin Tomlin, the yearbook staff at Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver did not take the same care and singled him out for a very cruel act that still haunts him 42 years later.

Tomlin, who is now dying of liver cancer, received his yearbook back in 1970 and when he opened it to the page with his picture on it, there was one word printed under his name: ‘Fag.’

Can you imagine?

For some reason, this story just strikes me to the core.

Tomlin, who is not gay, has gone public about the long ago incident because he wants an official apology from the school and wants it to delete the anti-gay slur from any remaining copies of the yearbook they may still have on hand.

‘I want to show the young people today that you can’t let them get away with it,’ he tells the Toronto Star.

To read the full story, go over to Gay Star News.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lunch Break Video: Ellen and Rebel Wilson rap!

It’s not just her performance in Pitch Perfect that is making Rebel Wilson a star – it’s her series of memorable performances on talk shows to promote the film.

Here she is performing Salt-N-Pepa’s Shoop with Ellen DeGeneres.


FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

See a preview of tonight’s “Glee”

I have not really been keeping up with Glee this season but plan to catch tonight’s episode.

Blaine (Darren Criss) goes to NYC to visit boyfriend Kurt (Chris Colfer) and sings a beautiful ballad version of Teenage Dream.

But things don’t seem so rosy between the two.


The Advocate Interview: Pink

The new issue of The Advocate features staunch LGBT ally Pink who talks about her queer fans and the misconception that she is bisexual.

Here are some excerpts:

“I loved my little girlfriends and we kissed and we had a great time and we held hands,” she says. “When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was an honorary lesbian of Los Angeles. I wasn’t gay, but all my girlfriends were. So no, it wasn’t a big deal for me, but when [a tabloid] comes out and says, I just said I was bisexual, it’s like what? That wasn’t my truth, and I like truth. I like absolute truth.”

Pink still hopes for a time when sexual orientation is irrelevant to the media, when people stop caring whether a woman is bisexual and start talking about whether a woman’s a CEO. But she admits that visibility, especially for LGBT youth, is critical. “I think it’s totally important. I don’t think every celebrity needs to have [a cause], I just think it’s great when they do.” Pink has supported the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and YouthAIDS, among many other LGBT and non-LGBT charitable organizations.

She says she’s gotten as much from her fans as she’s given. When fans tell her they’ve experienced the same feelings she did, she’s often stunned. “I’m like, Really? You went through the exact same thing I went through? I’ve become less lonely, and through it, they’ve become less lonely, and I think it’s absolutely important that we’re all sharing our experiences, because in [many places] it’s hard to be gay. In a lot of places it’s hard to be black, and in a lot of places it’s hard to be female. I’m in California now, it’s hard to be Mexican.”

She says lesbian and bisexual women in particular have always been there for her.

“They’ve been the most loyal part of what I do. They’ve been my most loyal friends, to be honest. I’ve had a lot of my gay boys around, but my gay girls are my rootstalk. They’re my honesty in an ocean of bullshit. I should be gay by the way that I look and the way that I am. I just happen to not be. But it just makes perfect and complete sense.”

Gay people constitute her core fan base, she says, appearing at every show. “But then over the years you kind of bring in [new] people that have never really embraced gay culture, and it’s just this clusterfuck of people,” she says. There are the “adorable little gay girl couples and gay boys, and then there’s the older straight couple together” who enjoy the music and learn a bit of tolerance while they’re at it. “I just feel like it’s bringing people together and it’s rad.”

FILE UNDER: Straight Allies

Anderson Cooper is not happy with Star Jones

It’s on!

It used to be Star Jones versus Rosie O’Donnell or versus Barbara Walters but now it’s Star “I’m a lawyer” Jones versus the Silver Fox himself, Anderson Cooper.

Star has angered Anderson with her allegation that he came out publicly as a gay man as a way to get ratings for his syndicated talk show Anderson Live.

Anderson shares with his daytime audience in a segment airing today that Jones is far off the mark.

‘I will say and I actually haven’t mentioned this, the only thing that did kind of annoy me and actually it annoyed my mom who brought it up to me, Star Jones of all people,’ he says to guest Andy Cohen who is also openly gay.

Cooper’s mom, of course, is Gloria Vanderbilt.

‘I haven’t thought about Star Jones in I don’t know how long,’ he added. ‘I was unaware she was even on TV still. But she apparently shows up on a morning show. Out of the blue Star Jones said this was a ratings ploy by me to boost ratings.’

If he had wanted to exploit his personal revelation for ratings, Cooper said he would have been much more savvy about it.

‘If I was wanting to boost ratings, I would have waited to announce it on ‘A Very Special Episode’ that would have been [promoted] for weeks and weeks and there would have been commercials: ‘Anderson’s Huge Announcement.’ and you would have a cut away of the audience but instead I was in Africa on assignment for 60 Minutes, I sent an email to a friend of mine who put it on a website. I gave no interviews about it, I never talked about it. I wasn’t even on the air for days afterward and so suddenly Star Jones, who as memory serves, in terms of boosting ratings, I seem to recall her hocking her wedding every single day to get free products when she was on The View and I seem to recall her lying about her gastric bypass surgery and making everybody else lie about it as well. So for her to suddenly emerge out of the shadows and suddenly attack me for this, I couldn’t believe it.”

‘And my mom was like, ‘Who is Star Jones?’ Anyway, so I can’t even believe I am bringing this up because I don’t even want to give Star Jones the attention.’

But he must’ve wanted to give her a little attention – and maybe get some ratings out of the fight because Anderson invited Jones, a former co-host of ABC’s The View, to appear on his show to discuss her comments but she declined.

‘I would think she would want as much publicity as possible given her penchant for wanting publicity,’ he tells Cohen.

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Snapped: The “Melrose Place” cast reunion!

Wow, time really does stand still – at least in Hollywood!

The cast of Melrose Place, who worked together from 1992-99, sure look terrific in this photo for Entertainment Weekly’s annual reunions issue.

The guys, Andrew Shue, Doug Savant and especially Grant Show are as cute as ever.

But it’s the women who really dazzle in this shot: Marcia Cross, coming off an eight season run on Desperate Housewives, has definitely improved with age while Courtney Thorne-Smith appears untouched by the passing years. She followed her 2001-09 run on the sitcom According to Jim with a recurring role on Two and a Half Men.

Heather Locklear may have had her personal troubles in recent years but she is looking as gorgeous as ever as are Josie Bissett, Daphne Zuniga and Laura Leighton.

Of course not all of the show’s famous alums made the cover starting with Locklear’s very recent ex-fiancee Jack Wagner, Bissett’s ex-husband Rob Estes, Kristen Davis of Sex and the City fame, Kelly Rutherford of Gossip Girl, Lisa Rinna and Thomas Calabro who appeared in the short-lived Melrose Place reboot a few years back along with Locklear and Leighton.

Also missing are first season regulars Vanessa Williams (not the former Miss America) and Amy Locane.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared this publicly but I was so into the show in the mid-1990s that I called my tropical fish tank ‘Melrose Tank’ and named each of the fish after a Melrose character according to the behavior they exhibited in the tank.

It’s ridiculous now but I used to get a kick out of pointing out each “character” to friends.


FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Morning Man Encore: John Williams!

Originally posted April 1, 2010

Rugby star John Williams, as you can see in these photos, is quite a beautiful man.

But he’s been somewhat overshadowed in the beefcake department by his brother, fellow rugby star David Williams.

Both brothers appeared in the 2009 “Gods of Football” calendar and DVD featuring hot Aussie jocks baring all to raise money for breast-cancer awareness.

But it was David, who graces the cover of the making-of DVD, who got most of the attention and is one of the few two-time Morning Men in Greg In Hollywood’s one-year history (May 27, 2009 and April 26, 2009).

Now we turn out attention to the sexy-in-his-own right John.

He is 25 years old and is currently playing for the North Queensland Cowboys in Australia’s National Rugby League. John was the highest point scorer for the Cowboys’ in 2008 with 96 points.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

LGBT History Month Hero: Martina Navratilova

Here we are in 2012 and no male tennis professional – active or retired – has ever come out publicly as gay.

Way back in 1981, Martina Navratilova told the world that she is a lesbian and paved the way for other female athletes in tennis and other sports to do the same.

Navratilova had already displayed tremendous courage six years earlier when she defected from her native Czechoslovakia after losing to Chris Evert in the semifinals of the 1975 US Open.

After coming out publicly, Martina’s play went from good to great with a win-loss singles record of 448-14 from 1982-86. She withstood jeers from crowds who didn’t like her dominance of the popular Evert and from some who simply didn’t like gay people.

“I don’t know one person who’s come out who wants to go back in,” Martina told me in a 2007 interview. “It was rough back then. It was rough when I walked on court, people would be clapping when Chris [Evert] or Steffi [Graf] were announced. I’d come out and some people wouldn’t clap. Imagine if they didn’t clap for Roger Federer if he was gay. He’s the best tennis player in the world. So that hurt. To me, my sexuality should be irrelevant, it’s not anything to be ashamed of. I was upset that people would think it was a negative and judge me just on that.”

I mentioned to Martina that I thought a real breakthrough for her with the public was after the 1991 U.S. Open final which she lost to Monica Seles. The crowd just wouldn’t stop clapping, finally bringing Martina to tears. It was a wonderful moment for me as a tennis fan watching on TV at home and I loved how she was being showered with affection for being a champion but for also being an honest and brave human being.

“They got me,” she says. “First they liked me, then I was the big brute beating our Chrissie. Then in 1991, they just respected me and they got me. They realized I was real and said what I thought and tried to do it in the best way possible.”

I commented to Martina that she has had an enormous impact on untold numbers of gay and lesbian people who felt they would never be embraced if they did not remain in the closet or be able to make their dreams come true as an openly gay person.

I am one of them.

She seemed to understand this and said: “Probably my biggest accomplishment is changing those people on the fence. The thing I’m happiest about is the kids that didn’t feel alone, who wrote me letters and said I helped give them the strength to be who they are.”

Martina has also always been very outspoken about LGBT equality and remains so. In 1993, she marched in the front line and spoke at the 1993 March on Washington. In 2000, she was the recipient of National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the same year she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized