Tag Archive | "gay"

“I want to be that champion,” Hillary Is Running.


By Dustin Shrader

By now, everyone in the world officially knows what we have all suspected for some time: Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016.

Announcing her candidacy via Twitter yesterday, Clinton sent the internet into a media frenzy. Celebrities and the LGBT community alike have already voiced their support, ready to be a part of the journey she speaks of in her official announcement video. The two-minute-plus clip follows your average day Americans of all different genders, races and sexual orientations “getting ready” for their future next steps. It is only within the last 45-seconds or so that Mrs. Clinton appears onscreen and proclaims what she is “getting ready” to do. This fresh, innovative way of announcing her candidacy is thoughtful and depicts her understanding of what the American people want.

Yet, the former Secretary of State is already feeling the heat from opposing forces of the anti-Clinton movement, calling her announcement on Twitter “un-presidential” and thoroughly digging their heals into the exhausted subject of her decision to use her personal email for work purposes instead of a government-issued account.

Despite the naysayers, realistically speaking there is no more qualified candidate entering this race. With the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the national legality of same-sex marriage, Clinton smartly features gay men and women in her campaign video, all while discussing the strength of American families and the need for a champion. With the gay vote seemingly already locked in her favor, the 2016 run might not be much of a race at all.

Click below to watch Hillary’s inspiring message.

 

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Who Will Be Crowned Sing For Your Life’s Season 3 Winner? Find Out Tonight!


By Dustin Shrader

Don’t forget the Season 3 finale of Sing For Your Life is tonight! The final three contenders are: Brooke Gabey, Sami Michelsen and Trevor Perry. Voting for contestants has closed, but you can still show your support by attending the finale.

Helmed by powerhouse promoter, Barry Brandon, Sing For Your Life is a singing competition that became an immediate hit in Atlanta in late 2012. Because of its fresh, modern format the show resonated instantly with ATL’s local music scene. Since its inception, Sing For Your Life has blossomed “with 200+ live audience members each week, thousands of YouTube hits and local and national coverage, the Top 12 Contestants became Atlanta household names.”

According to Barry Brandon himself, “The idea was simple – a local singing competition formatted after national television shows of the same genre. Backed by live musicians and mentored by industry professionals, contestants receive performance coaching and style consultations in addition to media exposure. Singers have the opportunity to showcase their talents weekly as well as strengthen their online presence by engaging their fans via a social media vote on our website.”

The Top 3 will perform live tonight at Jungle Atlanta. Doors open at 8pm with a $20 cover.

Brooke Gabey

 

Top 3 Contestant Brooke Gabey.

Trevor Perry

 

Top 3 Contestant Trevor Perry.

 

Sami Michelsen

 

Top 3 Contestant Sami Michelsen.

 

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Local Gay Dads Host Turn It Up For Change At W-Atlanta Midtown


By Dustin Shrader

Since October 2014, W Hotels Worldwide and the Human Rights Campaign have joined forces to host monthly Turn It Up For Change events at every W location.

20% of the proceeds accrued at each Turn It Up For Change event benefits HRC, in order to continue the fight for marriage equality.

This month’s Turn It Up For Change we’ll be combined with W’s regular Locals We Love event. Locals We Love honors an Atlanta person and/or business etc., highlighting their craft or good works.

For April’s hosts, local gay dads Kordale and Kaleb were chosen. The couple went viral last year after posting a picture of doing their daughter’s hair on Instagram. Their picture inspired national debates regarding LGBT family life and diversity. Since their newfound fame, the two fathers have written a book, “Picture Perfect” and starred in Nikon’s “I Am Generation Image” campaign.

 

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The event will be mix and mingle style with an opportunity to learn more about HRC and to chat with Kordale and Kaleb personally. HRC will also have a table set up, informing guests about the organization’s upcoming gala and auction.

In addition to meeting some of Atlanta’s finest, there will be delicious bites from W’s restaurant TRACE Atlanta; DJ Ree De La Vega will be keeping the party going spinning some thumping hits and complimentary valet. The night kicks off Thursday, April 9 at 7 PM to 9 PM.

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Hey Girl Hey


Holler Poodles!

 

“Oh the places we will go.” Gay travel destinations abound and as the summer season creeps upon us, I’m sure you’re all working your bodies out hard to get ready to display your various assets. Yummmmmmm! In my youth (19Aught2) I remember the annual pilgrimage to Pensacola where all the gays and grays would convene on the beach.

 

I went there several times over the years with friends who were more concerned with their desire to get drunk and naked (now what’s wrong with that?) than my propensity to burn. While not a bad goal, my alabaster skin did not like the sun penetrating its way through my 50 sunblock, tshirt and a tent. I didn’t understand at the time that even with all those protections, the suns rays bounce off every surface and will burn you to a fried chicken crisp if you aren’t diligent about protecting yourself.  I did enjoy the gasps of the people passing by as I lay in my string bikini with a large crustacean between my legs. Red Lobster anyone?

 

Another time I was performing at a club in Pensacola and will never forget a local girl came in from her day job to get ready for the show. Everyone around was busily doing their makeup and getting ready for the show to start when this unnamed entertainer announced she had to undo her tuck (drag term used to describe the piece of duct tape placed over the penis and pulled back between the legs to hold said penis and balls in place) because she had not removed it all day at work. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Needless to say, this story was gonna end in tragedy. The room started to fill up with the smell of ass. And as the smell hit their nostrils, one by one, each entertainer made a hasty retreat to the bar area. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was all of a sudden leaving when DAMMMMNNNNN it hit me like a ton of bricks. When I regained consciousness, I headed for the outside bar area and all the customers were asking what happened. As Wanda Sykes would say… “She sold her ass to the devil!”

 

I haven’t been back to Pensacola since but I’m sure after tearing that bar down and subsequently burning it, Satan crawled back into his hole. But I’m not bitter!! Y’all have safe travels!!!

 

Love and lashes,

 

MEP

 

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact me at maryedith99@gmail.com or on twitter @maryedithpitts

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Georgia’s “Indiana-Style” Bill Stalls, While Protestors March


By Dustin Shrader

Georgia’s  ‘Religious Freedom’ bill has been stalled due to national backlash over Indiana’s own controversial law.

The Senate passed Georgia’s bill within minutes after its initial introduction earlier this month, only to be stalled at the committee stage before closing of last week’s session because of the added anti-discrimination language, which would have allowed the bill to be used against the LGBT community.

The committee canceled yesterday’s meeting to discuss the bill further before the vote was supposed to take place today.

It is unclear at this time if the meeting will be rescheduled. The possibility that the bill was quietly killed as a direct result of Indiana’s backlash is pertinent.

Over 100 opponents against the bill rallied around the Georgia State Capitol earlier today, protesting the bill’s fate with only a few days left in the legislative’s session.

The protestors were heard chanting, “Not in my name! Not in our name! Not in God’s Name!”

Although, the marchers’ message is clear, no word on how it will affect the ultimate outcome.

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Miss Lauren’s Blackjack of Atlanta Defuncts Death Rumors, “I’m Still Alive and Kicking!”


By Dustin Shrader

Contrary to popular belief, Miss Lauren’s Blackjack of Atlanta has not passed away.

In an exclusive quote from the legendary dealer herself, she says, “No, I am still alive and kicking. I am not sure how it got around that I was dead. I do have terminal cancer. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. Recently, I found out I have to go back into the hospital for surgery. So, maybe that is how the rumor started?  The cancer started out in my small intestine and moved into my lymph nodes. I am taking treatment and feeling great. As of right now, everything is stable and has been for some time. Don’t count me out just yet!”

Miss Lauren hails back from the infamous Backstreet, some 20 years ago. Notable places she has dealt include: Burkhart’s, The Hideaway, Heretic, Tucker Saloon and many others throughout her illustrious career. She does real Vegas-style blackjack, with 30-plus years experience. If you were a one-million-dollar winner in one of her games, she would gift you with one of her t-shirts with her famous catchphrases known as Diddy’s. Some of these include: “The more you drink, the more you win. The more you bet, the more you win.” One of the first to use a t-shirt for one-million-dollar winners, for each table and location at the games you could get your name on a plaque of top winners. She still has every record of every t-shirt won and top place holder.

Currently still at The Tucker Saloon and performing Wednesdays and Thursdays at The Model T, Miss Lauren thanks everyone for the concern and well-wishes.

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NCAA And Broadway Star Audra McDonald Share Disdain Over Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” Bill


By Dustin Shrader

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s ill-advised decision to sign the “religious freedom” bill into law has caused quite the uproar with national businesses and celebrity supporters of the LGBT community. This ghastly new legal measure could allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers all in the sake of preserving their “religious” rights.

The NCAA are apprehensive about the bill considering the Final Four tournament will take place there next week. “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

President Emmert said the NCAA will “work diligently to ensure competitors and visitors at next week’s Final Four are not negatively impacted by this bill.” Emmert also highlighted that the organization, based in Indianapolis of all places, plan to “closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”

First openly gay basketball player, Jason Collins shared his own understandable disappointment with the signing of the bill. Asking Gov. Pence in a tweet, Collins wondered if it is “going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come” to the Final Four.

Perhaps the most outspoken, prominent figure against the bill would have to be six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald. In  a series of tweets, McDonald gave the Indianna governor a virtual tongue lashing.

Audra McDonald, @AudraEqualityMc:

 

.@GovPenceIN Some in my band are gay & we have 2 gigs in your state next month. Should we call ahead to make sure the hotel accepts us all?

.@GovPenceIN or could you maybe send us a list of where its okay for us to go? Might the law apply to me?(I’m black).

.@GovPenceIN or maybe I should fire my gay band members just to be on the safe side.

.@GovPenceIN Or MAYBE…we need to stick to singing in states that don’t legislate hate?

.@GovPenceIN Or MAYBE I donate the money I make in your state while Im there to organizations that will combat your hateful legislation.

.@GovPenceIN Yep. That’s what I’ll do. Hey @HRC get ready for a little money coming your way from Indiana via me to you! Have at it!

 

Pence still signed the bill in his office Thursday afternoon. In his own statement, Pence hid behind the right to religious freedom as his reasons for his hate.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Pence has yet to comment on Indiana’s potential loss of national business and celebrity support.

Photo Credit: aol.com

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Jane Lynch Brings “See Jane Sing” To Atlanta, Talks Future After “Glee”


By Dustin Shrader

Humble and sweet, as she is comedic and quick-witted, Jane Lynch very well might be the hardest working woman in show business today. After wrapping up Glee’s sixth and final season, everyone’s favorite, my-way-or-the-highway cheerleading coach is embarking on her next adventure—See Jane Sing: An Evening With Jane Lynch. See Jane Sing is Lynch’s national touring, musical comedy, a cabaret show she originally debuted in June 2014 at New York’s legendary venue 54 Below. Immensely enjoying those opening four nights last summer, Ms. Lynch decided to take the act on the road, traveling all around the U.S. with good buddies Kate Flannery (Meredith of The Office) and Tim Davis (Glee’s Vocal Coordinator). In anticipation of bringing her show to Atlanta’s Symphony Hall this Saturday, Jane opened up to Fenuxe about her crowd-pleasing performance, shooting a new pilot for CBS and the possibility of doing a full Broadway run in the future.

Fenuxe: I am excited to see your show! It has received high praise, what can we expect?

Jane Lynch: Well, I’m biased, but it is fantastic. It is about an hour long. It goes by really fast. It is funny. We have crammed a bunch of songs and a bunch of patter. I have a five-piece band, the Tony Guerrero Quintet, my friend Kate Flannery from The Office joins me for the bulk of it and my friend Tim Davis who opens for me, he joins us for some three-part harmonies. It is a bunch of different styles, I have some funny jazz numbers, some Broadway tunes we reimagined and rearranged, even a love song medley I find extremely funny. We smile, have a lot of laughs and so does the audience.

F: How has it been working with Kate and Tim?

JL: Terrific! You know, Kate and I have been weaving in and out of each other’s lives for decades. We’ve been performing and singing, and when I decided to do this cabaret show I gave her a call and said, “I can’t think of anyone, I’d rather have on stage performing with me.” She came out and we worked it up. We have a blast doing it! We started doing it at 54 Below, the cabaret space in New York. They gave me four nights before I even had a show. I kinda had a deadline, but that is how we came up with it. Tim was the vocal arranger on Glee and he is touring with me, he is a wonderful crooner. He is so talented and such a handsome guy, you’re going to love him! He and Tony of the quintet open for me, Kate and I flip in a little later and we have a blast!

F: Was performing in Annie sort of the inspiration to do your own show?

JL: Yeah, it sure was. I hadn’t done theatre in a while since I started out. Then when I moved into television and film, I had no desire to go back to the stage at all. And the offer for Annie came up and I thought, “Who turns down a Broadway musical?” So, I did that and got the bug all over again. I wanted to keep performing. 54 Below gave me those four nights and I am having such a great time. We decided to take it out on the road, doing a smattering of dates all over the country. Now that I am finished with Glee, I’ll be picking up steam and adding more dates in terms of the tour.

F: Taking part in Annie and doing See Jane Sing, have you considered a longer running Broadway show?

JL: That is a great question! You know, I think the world is our oyster. We could keep doing the touring, which is great. But I am also imagining in my head how I can get into something where we stay in one space, make it a little fuller, a little bigger, add a bit more music and an over-arching theme to make the show longer. It is a possibility, because I have a ton of ideas of what I could add to it.

F: Is every show the same or is improvisation involved, as well?

JL: We do improv, actually! My drummer Matt Johnson said last night it is a tight and loose show. My kind of way of working is I plan every single moment I leave no stone unturned. It is a complete entity by the time I am through and put it out on stage. Then and only then do I feel free to goof around. It is very loose but there are definite parameters. With the parameters set, I feel as if it has become my playpen and then I can move around. Last night we had a show here in Alexandria, it was very loose. People asked if it was all improvised and it wasn’t. It is very structured but within that structure, we have a blast.

F: I was thrilled to hear you are coming back to TV with CBS’s Angel From Hell.

JL: Well with the pilot we shoot the show, then the network decides if they will take it to series or not. We just had our first table read yesterday. We start shooting next week and hopefully, it is something CBS will want to take the bait. I’m really excited.

F: Any other big names joining Angel From Hell?

JL: Yeah, Kevin Pollock and Maggie Lawson, who was on Psych will be joining. And Kyle Bornheimer, who you will recognize. The four of us are kind of the regulars in it.

F: If given the green light, will we see it this fall?

JL: I would think so, I am hoping so. That is definitely the intention, so we will see what happens.

F: Are you still going to have time for a third season of Hollywood Game Night?

JL:  Yep! In fact, it sounds like I am the busiest person in the world, but last weekend and the weekend before we shot ten Hollywood Game Nights! We are ready to throw those on the air early this summer.

F: Wow, that is intense.

JL: I am exhausted, my friend. But I had a great sleep last night, so I could be ready to talk to you.

F: What has been your favorite role played to date?

JL: Oh gosh, it is always the one I’m doing. I will say though, Sue Sylvester has been a complete joy to play. I did it for over six years. The longest role I have ever played. I loved it from start to finish. The great thing about Sue and the double-edged sword of the character, she is great in small doses. So, I was sprinkled in and out. It was always a good time. These last thirteen episodes, I was in so much of them. It was fun and I had such crazy things to do. I am eternally grateful to all the powers that be over for allowing me to go out with a bang.

F: Out of six seasons, who would be your favorite co-star or guest star? I’m sure Carol Burnett was a pleasure to work with.

JL: Oh, Carol Burnett and Olivia Newton John were so amazing to work with. Matt Morrison is my favorite co-star in the world. I just love him. He is a real joy to hang out with.

F: Well, because you are such a prominent figure I have to ask, I was wondering your thoughts on the whole D&G scandal?

JL: You know what, I have been so busy, so I am unplugged from everything that is going on. But people say stupid things all the time. We all do.

F: Yes, that is true. So, have you always been a singer or did that come about on Glee?

JL: I have always loved singing. I grew up in a musical family. We didn’t sit around and play instruments like the Partridge Family but we did sit around the kitchen table and sing songs. My parents loved harmonizing, but that is about as far as it went. They would also do the church musicals, where ironically everyone got loaded, but that was really my first exposure to singing. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love it.

F: Have you been to Atlanta before?

JL: I have! I shot The Three Stooges there and another film called A.C.O.D.: Adult Children of Divorce. I love it! I love the food. It looks like we are going to have some time too! I have like a day and a half to hang out there. Look for me on the street! We will take a picture! I would love to have people come out to Symphony Hall. I can’t wait to play there. It is going to be a lot of fun.

Jane will be performing See Jane Sing live this Saturday, March 28 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall.

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HBO Cancels ‘Looking’ After Two Seasons


By Dustin Shrader

Sad news for all of us Looking fans out there. HBO has officially canceled the gay dramedy, not renewing it for a third season. Speculation has run rampant about its fate since the show’s second season finale on Sunday.

Fear not, though, my fellow Patrick, Dom and Agustin shippers, after announcing the cancellation, HBO did offer this little gem in the released statement, “After two years of following Patrick and his tight-knit group of friends as they explored San Francisco in search of love and lasting relationships, HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special. We look forward to sharing this adventure with the shows loyal fans.”

The show’s dynamite cast led by Jonathan Groff has been a breath of fresh air in the portrayal of gay characters on television. Not used as sidekicks or a funny punch line, these characters shed light on what life is really like for young and even middle-aged gay men, navigating life and all of its curve-balls, looking for love along the way.

Although it is unfortunate we have barely gotten to know the newer cast members who joined the ensemble this season, such as Mean Girl’s Daniel Franzese, here’s hoping the TV movie will wrap all those loose ends up nicely.

No date has been determined for the release of Looking’s final send off special.

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Alliance Theatre Presents ‘Blues for an Alabama Sky’


By Dustin Shrader

The Alliance Theatre will be presenting its upcoming production of Blues for an Alabama Sky, this marks the 20th anniversary, celebrating the production’s world premiere at the Alliance in 1995.  The play was written by adored Atlanta author and playwright, Pearl Cleage (What I Learned in Paris, The Nacirema Society…) and will be directed by Alliance Theatre Jennings Hertz Artistic Director Susan V. Booth. “Blues for an Alabama Sky is a timeless look at hopeful dreams in the hopeless days of the waning Harlem Renaissance.”  Opening night is Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Taking place in 1930’s Harlem, Blues depicts the harsh realities wrought by the Great Depression, devastating the upbeat decade of the Harlem Renaissance. Disease and poverty monopolize the inspired bliss that helped to fuel a surge of African-American artists, writers, and luminaries. “Blues is a story with a rich cast of characters, scrambling to survive and make sense of their overlapping personalities, politics, and love. A classic by Atlanta’s own Pearl Cleage, as timely today as when it was conceived.”

The original production included Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) and Bill Nunn (The Spider-Man film trilogy).

“When Susan Booth told me she wanted to direct a 20th anniversary production of Blues for an Alabama Sky my first reaction was surprise at how quickly twenty years passes,” said playwright Pearl Cleage.  “When the play premiered in 1995, my wish was simply for a successful first production.  I’m happy to say that in the 20 years since Blues was commissioned not a single year has passed when the play was not produced on multiple stages across the country.  My own involvement ended after that first production so having a chance to rediscover this play in collaboration with Susan, who is directing it for the very first time, offers us a unique opportunity to create something that is absolutely new. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!”

The current cast of Blues for an Alabama Sky features Crystal Fox as Angel.  Fox appeared as Evie Madison in the world premiere of Cleage’s play What I Learned in Paris.  Fox’s previous credits include Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots (Hanna Young), In the Heat of the Night (Luann Corbin), and the film Driving Miss Daisy (Katie Bell).  “Fox was hand selected by Phylicia Rashad to understudy the role of Angel during the 1996 production and will now play the role for the first time.  The cast also features Thomas Neal Antwon Ghant (Native Guard, A Christmas Carol) as Leland, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Angels in America) reprising the role of Guy, which he played opposite Phylicia Rashad in the 1996 production, Tinashe Kajese (Sticky Fly) as Delia, and Keith Randolph Smith (The Whipping Man, God of Carnage) as Sam.”

Blues for an Alabama Sky performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:30 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, April 15 – May 10, 2015.  There will be no 2:30 pm performance on April 18.  There will be no 7:30 pm performance on May 10.

Opening Night is Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30 pm.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404.733.5000.  Tickets are also available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/blues.  Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690.  Discounted rates are also available for members of the military, seniors, and students.  The Alliance Theatre is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street.

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