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Must-See TV: The brilliant Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking” premieres tonight on HBO! Fisher has had one helluva life.

She’s got a movie star for a mom (Debbie Reynolds) and a famous singer for a dad (Eddie Fisher) and Elizabeth Taylor and Connie Stevens among her stepmothers.

Among her ex-husbands is singer Paul Simon and her half-sister is actress Joely Fisher.

That’s just the family stuff.

Carrie herself became a huge movie star playing Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy and went on to become an acclaimed novelist and screenwriter (Postcards From the Edge).

Through it all, she has battled drug addiction and mental illness and developed a brilliant sense of humor and openness about it all.

That’s why you have got to watch her new HBO special Wishful Drinking which premieres tonight. She is a 54-year-old poster child for the thrills and pitfalls of growing up in Hollywood.

When Carrie appeared last summer at the TV Critics Assn. Summer Press Tour, she talked about why she has been so candid about her life in this special based on her memoir of the same name:

“What I realized that when I got sober, overdosed, went to a mental hospital – all these things – it went in the paper. And my thing is: “Wait a second, if it’s going to be out there, please let my version be in it. ” Also, there is the saying, ‘You’re only as sick as your secrets. If you can claim it, it has very little power over you. I want to live on one side of the magnifying glass or the other – on the side that makes big things small or small things big. And I live on the side that makes big things small. You meet a better class of people there.”

“When the things happened at the time, I was too ashamed to talk about them so there’s great relief in just sort of being able to own this – something that happened, that I learned from and wasn’t defeated by. And if I can do that – and some of the stuff was really hard – then anybody can do it.”

Here is a LINK to the HBO site for more information and show times.

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Showtune Sunday: Sonny and Cher (and Chastity) are joined by Bernadette Peters and Capt. Kangaroo for holiday medley’s like watching the family home movies of a very famous family.

This is the 1976 holiday edition of The Sonny and Cher Show, the series they did after they got divorced and after Cher did her own solo series for awhile and married Gregg Allman. I’m not sure if she had given birth to son Elijah Blue Allman.

The child Sonny and Cher had together was then a little girl named Chastity who would be trotted out once in awhile during the original series the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. She’s 7 years old in this video. Now that child is 41 years old and a man now called Chaz Bono whose life and transition from female to male is the subject of the upcoming documentary Becoming Chaz.

So here is Chaz as a child with parents Sonny and Cher and their guest stars Bernadette Peters and … wait for it … Captain Kangaroo!

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Carol Channing: “The gay community is responsible for so much of my success, and I love them.” Broadway legend Carol Channing will be 90 next month and she is still going strong.

I saw her at an event in November and she was very much in the now, working to support the arts in schools and enjoying the company of her husband to whom she is devoted.

She sat down for an exclusive interview with dot429 and I wanted to share some excerpts with you:

With one of the longest and most successful careers in show business, what are your keys to success?

Carol Channing: Always remember that the next job is going to be your best.  That’s one of the reasons I never missed a performance.  It wasn’t that I was all fire healthy all the time.  In fact,  I would just get sicker thinking about that.  I knew that trips had been planned, babysitters had been hired, and disappointing them made me sicker.  I also knew that skipping a show meant you probably would have given your best performance, and you missed it.

As an international icon and a gay icon, what are your views on the current “state of affairs” in the LGBT community (specifically gay marriage)?

Carol Channing: I honestly don’t know.  I never cared if someone was gay or not.  If a friend was gay? Well, that’s all there was to it.  The gay community is responsible for so much of my success, and I love them.  It’s a mutual love affair, really.  They make the better audiences too, because they laugh often and loudly.  Applause is obligatory, but laughter is a reward, and gay audiences reward me often.  Years ago, I was made their Queen in San Francisco, which is so much better than legend or icon.  I was told that on that day, there wasn’t a blonde wig to be found in stores.  Isn’t that wonderful.

What do you believe are the primary contributing factors that make you an acclaimed gay icon?

Carol Channing:
I can’t think of myself as an icon or legend.  The moment you do, then you’re not.  There are so many talented people that have been called a “gay icon” that have no similarities at all.  So I don’t know that I can answer that.   There will always be certain individuals that a minority will put on pedestals, but for different reasons.  The gay community has had Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Bette Midler, Cher, Madonna.  The list is long, really. The only thing I can think of that they have in common is a desire to lift up the audience.


Morning Man Classic: Frank Gifford!’s better known these days as Kathie Lee’s husband and Cody and Cassidy’s dad but 80-year-old Frank Gifford had stellar, hall of fame careers as a football player and broadcaster.

And, as my friend and fellow blogger Kennethinthe212 pointed out last week, “Frank Gifford — long before wacky Kathie Lee got her paws on him — was the hottest man to ever walk the face of the earth.”

Gifford first rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s as a professional football player with the New York Giants.  Later, in a second career, he became famous again as a sports broadcaster.

Born in Santa Monica, California in 1930, Gifford graduated from Bakersfield High School, became a Junior College All- American football player at Bakersfield College, then proceeded to the University of Southern California where he also became an All-American.  He entered the profes- sional ranks in 1952, joining the New York Giants, where he played his entire career.

He made eight Pro Bowl appearances and had five trips to the NFL Championship Game.  Gifford’s biggest season may have been 1956, when he won the Most Valuable Player award of the NFL, and led the Giants to the NFL title over the Chicago Bears.  Gifford also played in the famous December 1958 championship game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts, a game that many believe ushered in the modern era of big time, television-hyped, pro football.

After his playing days ended, Gifford became a full-time sports broadcaster for NFL games on CBS radio and TV.  By 1971 he became a play-by-play announcer on ABC’s Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith.

In 1995, Gifford was given the Pete Rozelle Award by the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his NFL television work.  Gifford remained at Monday Night Football until 1998, when he left the show.

Throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s, millions of morning-TV viewers who watched ABC’s Live with Regis and Kathie Lee would often hear Kathie Lee Gifford’s descriptions of life at home with her sportscaster husband and their two children.

Source: The Pop History of Dig: Gifford for Luckies

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First the Tonys then the Emmys; Now Neil Patrick Harris is hosting tonight’s 8th Annual Video Game Awards!, the Academy Awards hosting gig went to James Franco and Anne Hathaway so what’s a guy with the mad award show hosting skills of Neil Patrick Harris to do?

He’s going to be hosting tonight’s 8th Annual Video Games Awards on Spike TV!

Neil won an Emmy for hosting the 2009 Tonys, and later that year hosted the Emmys.

But the How I Met Your Mother star has in the past hosted award shows for organizations near to his heart including the World of Magic Awards and LA’s Ovation Awards for local theater productions. He was also the host of the 2009 TV Land Awards.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will feature 13 world premieres of games from 2011 and beyond. Confirmed so far: Batman: Arkham City, Resistance 3, and Thor: God of Thunder, as well as the next game from Studio of the Year nominee BioWare, the debut of Guillermo del Toro’s video game, and a special Gears of War announcement.

Among the presenters, attendees, and nominees: Del Toro, Thor: God of Thunder video game star Chris Hemsworth, Halo: Reach star and VGA 2010 nominee Nathan Fillion, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia‘s Danny DeVito, Kaitlin Olson, and Rob McElhenney, Olivia Munn, 90210‘s Annalynne McCord, Dane Cook, Nick Swardson, Tony Hawk, and Denise Richards. My Chemical Romance will perform.

The show airs LIVE tonight on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT. Click HERE for more information.


Today’s Holiday Tune: See Harry Connick Jr. and his daughter perform a duet of “Winter Wonderland”’t it be great to find Harry Connick Jr. underneath your Christmas tree?

Okay, I’ll settle for bumping into him underneath some mistletoe!

Oh man, gotta get a grip. This is a happily married man with children!

In this absolutely heartwarming video, he sings Winter Wonderland on The Today Show with his daughter.

He had co-hosted the entire week with Hoda and Kathie Lee during the show’s delightful fourth hour.


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Armani’s new underwear guy: Rafael Nadal!, if David Beckham can make a buncha extra bucks running around in Armani undies, why can’t Rafael Nadal?

Still, while the world’s number one tennis player is known for his powerful physique, but he will be hard-pressed to come through with a set of poses that will rival the iconic shots of Beckham.

But it will be fun to see him try!

Reports Reuters:  The fashion house announced on Friday that the 24 year-old will be the global testimonial for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans for the spring/summer 2011 collections.

The first campaign featuring Nadal will launch in February.

Both Christiano Ronaldo and Beckham have previously stripped down to their underwear for Emporio Armani, with Beckham even posing for billboards with his wife Victoria, of Spice Girls fame.

Nadal won this year’s French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles to knock Roger Federer off the top of the rankings.


Liza Minnelli on TCM’s “Private Screenings” tonight! are few things as delicious for a movie fan than watching Robert Osborne sit down with a film legend on his TMC Private Screenings show and gets them to dish.

He has had these amazing hours with the likes of Lauren Bacall and Jane Fonda in the past and his vast knowledge of their careers and details of their lives made for very revealing conversations.

Tonight it is Liza Minnelli’s turn.

The Oscar winning star of Cabaret and of such films as The Sterile Cuckoo, Arthur and New York, New York has been having a positive and productive stretch in her sometime turbulent life and is currently in terrific form.

Says Osborne: “Liza Minnelli has a perspective about Hollywood unlike anyone else. She is an Academy Award-winning actress with parents who both were also Oscar winners (Judy Garland in 1939 and Vincente Minnelli in 1958). Her playground was soundstages, where she watched her parents and other film icons work, so she has insights into their world, which became her world. Her story is at once fascinating, dramatic and touching and has never been extensively told before. We’re very excited to be able to devote two nights to celebrating the lives and work of this extraordinary family.”

The Minnelli interview premieres tonight at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on TCM. Also airing during the weekend will be Liza’s and Cabaret and A Matter of Time, the 1976 film she starred in which was directed by her father. His films Gigi and An American in Paris will also be screened as Meet Me in St. Louis which was also directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred his then-wife and Liza’s mom Judy Garland.

Saturday Morning Man: Brian Austin Green! you consider that Brian Austin Green first played Donna Mills’ son on Knots Landing in the mid-80s and now plays Marcia Cross‘ love interest on Desperate Housewives, you realize that here is an actor who has literally grown up before our eyes.

And he has grown up quite nicely too!

In between, he spent 10 years playing David Silver on the original Beverly Hills 90210 – that show alone was nearly 300 episodes of television.

Now 37, Brian can look back on a body of work that also includes a season playing Freddie Prinze Jr.’s best friend on the ABC sitcom Freddie (he really was the best part of that show!) and played recurring characters on Resurrection Blvd, Smallville and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

He was recently married to actress Megan Fox and has an 8 year old son with actress Vanessa Marcil who he met when both were cast members on 90210.

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Neil Patrick Harris to return to stage in “Company” Patrick Harris did not stop working in between his long-running TV stints on Doogie Howser MD and How I Met Your Mother.

He often turned to the stage between TV and movie gigs and honed his craft on Broadway in Assassins, Cabaret and Proof and in the national touring company of Rent.

So it’s great to see that Neil will be returning to New York next spring to star in a production of Company, the Stephen Sondheim musical about a perennial bachelor, his dating life and his good and crazy married friends, to be presented by the New York Philharmonic in April.

The performances will run from April 7 through 9, will be produced and directed by Lonny Price.

Neil, in an interview with the New York Times, praises Sondheim for “filling every beat and note and moment with some intention.” He added: “It just allows the performer a great opportunity to mine as deep as they choose. My day job requires a shallowness that will be fun to play against.”

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Stage

Carrie Fisher talks about her HBO special and Travolta’s sexuality: “Look, I’m sorry that he’s uncomfortable with it, and that’s all I can say.” Princess Leia out Vinnie Barbarino in a new interview with The Advocate?

You be the judge!

Carrie Fisher, whose HBO special Wishful Drinking premieres on Sunday, chats with Brandon Voss about a host of things but here is the part of the Q&A that is getting everybody’s attention today:

ADV: In the September 2009 issue of Out, you participated in their monthly “Can I Be Blunt?” column by sharing 10 things that gay men should know about straight women. One of those things was, “We don’t really care that John Travolta is gay.” I know you and Travolta go way back, so let’s get really blunt here: Does his legal team have any business demanding Gawker remove a recent post suggesting that he’s given blow jobs?
CF: Wow! I mean, my feeling about John has always been that we know and we don’t care. Look, I’m sorry that he’s uncomfortable with it, and that’s all I can say. It only draws more attention to it when you make that kind of legal fuss. Just leave it be.

More tidbits:

ADV: When explaining that your ex-husband (CAA superagent Bryan Lourd) once blamed your codeine abuse on pushing him toward other men, you joke in Wishful Drinking that you have the power to turn men gay. These are funny quips, but they’ve also turned into headlines that some readers make take seriously. So just to clarify for those who believe that being gay is a choice, do you and Bryan know that he was always gay and that you had nothing to do with it?

CF: Well, we don’t talk about it much, but yes, I should think that he was always gay and probably always knew it. I can only really talk about my part of it, up to a point, but he’s been a very good father — and mother — to Billie.


ADV: I’ve read that you’ve felt haunted by [gay friend R. Gregory Stevens] ghost. I’d think a gay ghost would be pretty fabulous to have lurking around.
CF: No, it wasn’t a bad thing. It was amusing. Things started to go off in my house. You know those little boxes that you push the buttons and they go, “Fuck you,” “Eat shit,” “You’re an asshole”? I had one of those, and it would start to go off, on its own, in the middle of the night. So if that wasn’t Greg… I mean, I don’t think it was [past resident of my Beverly Hills home] Edith Head, do you?

The audiences at your Broadway show were always packed with gay fans. Were you at all surprised by that support?
Oh, no. You guys better be supportive because I’ve spent my life with you. My mother’s whole nightclub act had gay backup dancers. When I was 13 and started doing my mother’s show, I was with them all the time. I got my first kiss from a gay man. And second. And third.

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Jane Lynch speaks in support of homeless gay youth and services of LA Gay and Lesbian Center, we’ve straightened out all that silliness regarding Ed O’Neill and what he did not say about Jane Lynch and her Emmy.

Time to focus on something that is really important – and true.

Jane is a longtime board member of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center and has made a video about everyone needing a home for the holidays.

Sadly, there are so many LGBT youth who have been abandoned by their parents and The Center has become their home – a place where Jane say “they are accepted for who they are.”

The center has launched the 2010 Holiday Campaign and needs to raise $75,000 to provide warm meals, safe shelter, medical services, counseling and more for the growing number of LGBT youth who need the safety net of these services during the holidays and through the first month of the new year.

Here is a LINK to the Center’s website for more information or to donate.

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“I Love Lucy” Friday: Lucy tries to recreate Cuba for Ricky and even channels Carmen Miranda! this episode from the first season, Lucy is afraid that Ricky misses Cuba so she tries to recreate him homeland for him inside of their New York apartment!

She goes far beyond making his favorite dishes and redecorating the place to look more Cuban.

She dresses up like Carmen Miranda and lip syncs a song. It quickly descends into hilarious chaos as everything goes wrong with the record player. First the record gets stuck, then it plays at way too high a speed then at far too low a speed.

To see Lucy continue to try and sell the performance no matter the speed of the record is pure brilliance.

Enjoy the comedy perfection of the great Lucille Ball.

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Today’s Holiday Tune: Enjoy Eartha Kitt singing her signature song “Santa Baby” as only she can! dazzling Eartha Kitt was nearly 80 years young when she took the stage in 2006 to sing Santa Baby.

Can you believe those legs?

There has been many versions of this song over the years – good ones too – but let’s face it, she sings it better than anyone ever will. She absolutely owns the song!

Eartha, most famous for playing Catwoman on the Batman TV series although she had a singing and acting career than spanned 60 years on Broadway, television, films and nightclubs.

She died in 2008 but her work lives on – especially this, her signature song.

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“The Social Network” star Armie Hammer to play J. Edgar Hoover’s alleged lover in new biopic the Winklevoss twins to great acclaim in the hit movie The Social Network has elevated actor Armie Hammer from rising star to full-fledged stardom.

The latest proof is this: Entertainment Weekly reports that the 24-year-old actor is in talks to join Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio’s upcoming J. Edgar Hoover biopic, which will now be called J. Edgar.

The screenplay is being written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk).

Hammer would play lawyer-turned-FBI-official — and, some say, Hoover’s lover — Clyde Tolson. Though the pair didn’t always agree on political tactics, Tolson remained a loyal friend and advisor to Hoover.

Two years ago, Hammer’s biggest role had been that of evangelist Billy Graham in the film Billy – The Early Years. And yes, he is the great-grandson of U.S. business tycoon Armand Hammer and never considered changing his name.

“I’m proud of my family name,” he told me in 2008. “The only time it only hurt was in junior high school when the nicknames started. I also get a lot of questions about baking soda.”

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Catching up with “Queer Eye” alum Jai Rodriguez who does a dramatic guest stint on “Harry’s Law” may be best known as one of the stars of the late, great Queer Eye for the Straight Guy series but Jai Rodriguez has been plenty busy since that Bravo series left the air.

Jai, who appeared as Angel in Rent on Broadway and starred in the recent indie flick Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!!, has filmed a guest role in the new NBC series Harry’s Law from David E. Kelley and starring Oscar winner Kathy Bates.

I spoke with Jai at last week’s GLAAD at 25 event about his guest role.

“It’s a huge role with two big production numbers,” says Jai, who is also a singer. “I play a singer and actually a transgender woman so it’s pretty phenomenal. Great, nice hefty, dramatic, on the witness stand kind of scenes.”

“It’s the first time I’ve done anything like that,” he added. “I’ve played drag queens before but I’ve never had to change my gender. It was a three-hour ordeal with make-up and hair, wardrobe. It was a big undertaking and I’m thrilled that David would even take on something like this. I used Candis Cayne as my inspiration but I ended up looking a lot like Kim Kardashian!”


See Matthew Morrison profiled by Katie Couric!’m so glad I caught Katie Couric’s profile of Glee star Matthew Morrison which aired on CBS Sunday Morning this week.

The two seemed to enjoy a nice rapport and it is so enjoyable that I hope you will watch it yourself (I’ve posted it below).

What I did not know until the other day was that Miss Couric is going to appear in an upcoming episode of Glee!

Matthew spilled some details for CBS News while on the red carpet of last weekend’s Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C.

“Very excited to have her on the show,” he gushed about Couric.

He said the CBS Evening News anchor better get her dancing shoes on and teased that he may “do a little dance with her.”

Couric, a self-professed “Gleek,” will play herself, according to Morrison, and will interview Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch. The Glee episode airs on Fox after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 6, 2011.


Friday Morning Man: Chris Zylka!

At 25, Chris Zylka is just about to hit the bigtime.

The actor has been cast to play Flash Thompson, Peter Parker’s high school nemesis. in Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot.

The Thompson character is a football player who gets his kicks picking on “Puny Parker.” But he also happens to be a great admirer of Spider-Man who will be played by Andrew Garfield (Tobey Maguire and all other cast members from the first three films have been replaced).

Chris is a strapping young actor recently co-starred in Gregg Araki’s Kaboom and also wrapped David R. Ellis’ untitled 3D shark thriller. He got his start in television roles including the recurring part of Gabe Lammotti on Hannah Montana and the recurring role of Jake Donner on the series 10 Things I Hate About You.

The actor had a brief, but very memorable role in the indie flick The People I’ve Slept With. His character did not have a name that I recall but is listed in the credits as “Mr. Hottie.”

That he is!!!

Actor Chris Zylka arrives at AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 6, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
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Ed O’Neill: “I absolutely never said, nor do I believe that Jane [Lynch] was undeserving of the [Emmy]“ Guide Canada got a lot of attention earlier this week when it quoted Modern Family star Ed O’Neill as saying he did not think Jane Lynch should have won the Emmy for her performance as Sue Sylvester on Glee.

Turns out that is not quite what the actor said and TV Guide Canada has now printed a retraction that says in part: “ Our writer did not mean to misrepresent Mr. O’Neill or anyone else involved in the story. He and TV Guide Canada sincerely apologize for this error.”

Here is the actual quote: I’m one of Jane Lynch’s biggest fans. I love Jane Lynch. She is a genius. But at the same time I said ‘Sofia [Vergara] could win’ because … and I’ve only seen Glee a couple of … I’ve only seen Glee once. But I thought Jane’s role is rather one-dimensional. It’s kind of strident. It’s always kind of the same. I’ve seen her be much better. So I thought ‘Sofia’s funnier,’ and I think she is in these two comparative roles. Anyway, Jane won. But I was hoping that Sofia would.”

Earlier today, O’Neill released the following statement to EW: “Last week I spoke to a group of journalists and one quoted me supposedly saying of Jane Lynch, ‘I don’t think she should have gotten the Emmy for that part.’ I never said those words and transcripts of the press conference attest to that fact. Of course I root for my dear friends Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen (and all of my colleagues on our show) at Emmy time, but I absolutely never said, nor do I believe that Jane — whom I think is an enormous talent — was undeserving of the award. I reached out to her yesterday to ensure she knew I’d been misquoted but I wanted to clear this up publicly as well.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy, Glee

Rising star Darren Criss talks to “Interview” about his role as a gay teen Blaine on “Glee”

Darren Criss a new breakout star on Glee.
This multi-talented actor,  musician, and Internet sensation spoke to Interview during a rare break between filming the show to talk about what playing the role of gay teen Blaine has meant to him.
“Even if Blaine was to get hit by a bus in two episodes, I’m really thankful for the time I’ve been given on the show,” he tells interviewer Kate Mendelson.
The young actor said he had no trepidation about taking on the role of a gay character or concern about being pigeonholed after moving on from Glee.
“Not at all. To be quite honest, that doesn’t take up a huge chunk of what really matters about Blaine. After having gotten to know the show a little bit, I was really excited to see that a character like this—such a strong gay character, especially a young, male, out-and-proud teen—was going to make its way onto network television, much less Fox.  This is the first time I’d really seen an out student that was so young and innocent and really struggling with the big ordeal that it is to be an out student at such an early age. When other shows present the gay character thing, it’s typically been in much more adult situations, like gay men living in New York or closeted men who are married and struggling with that ordeal, but never really the core of the journey of defining your sexuality. Blaine offers a beautiful counter to that and makes such a great addition to the many-colored palette that is Glee. So as far as me having any reservations about it, no. I read it being like, this would be so cool, whoever gets to play this, it’s going to be a great thing for an already great show.”
Wow! This dude gives long answers! And good ones!
On the potential for Blaine to have a positive influence Criss says: “Of course, being gay really is an important part of who he is. But Blaine doesn’t really think so—at least in this utopian society that he lives in [LAUGHS], at Dalton Academy, where it’s almost a little too perfect to be anybody or anything. It’s just kind of matter of fact. It’s a really positive thing, and I feel very privileged to be the vessel for that, and I hope it speaks to a lot of people who struggle to find a model for who they are and where they fit in.”