Alec Baldwin, Barney Frank take to same stage — but dodge gay questions
Alec Baldwin, who’s been accused of having homophobic tendencies, and Barney Frank, the gay former congressman from Massachusetts, took to the same stage this weekend for an amicable discussion of an upcoming documentary — though they dodged questions about their differing opinions on homosexuality.
It was just last month that Mr. Baldwin tweeted out a series of critical comments and homophobic remarks about a former aide to Mitt Romney. Right around that time, Mr. Baldwin was also asked to attend with Mr. Frank the premier of “Compared to What,” a documentary that highlights the former congressman’s legislative efforts and embrace of his gay sexuality, BuzzFeed reported.
So at the Sunday forum — the prelude to the showing of the movie — Mr. Frank was asked about his association with Mr. Baldwin, and what he thought of the Hollywood icon’s apparent disregard for gay rights.
Mr. Frank said: “The notion that when you appear in some common forum with someone that you’re each adopting the others’ views, no, I don’t pay much attention to that. And secondly, Mr. Baldwin is perfectly capable of explaining himself, but I don’t have any problem with it at all.”
Mr. Baldwin then cut in: “And if I could answer that question in the prism of promoting the film, I’ll let you know, I’ll get back to you. But we’re here to promote the film.”
This undated image provided by Fotique shows U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
Mr. Frank’s partner, Jim Ready, meanwhile, expressed disappointment that the documentary spoke of Mr. Frank’s prostitution scandal from the late 1980s.
“I don’t think that was very relevant and they didn’t need to put that in there,” Mr. Ready said, BuzzFeed reported. “His 94-year-old aunt is here, she didn’t need to see that. It was embarrassing. My mom is going to see it and stuff, it’s just kind of rude.”
'Glee' boys strip off and turn Tarzan in Lady Gaga, Katy Perry special
Glee returned in the US last night with a Lady Gaga and Katy Perry special, and thanks to both stars' penchant for stripping off, that made for lots of shots of the hunks from New Directions wearing very little.
Chord Overstreet, who plays adorable airhead Sam, was probably the biggest exhibitionist of the episode, going shirtless with some weird bone wings as he sung Gaga's 'Applause'...
Before joining Glee cast members Darren Criss (Blaine), Jacob Artist (Jake) and Blake Jenner (Ryder) for a recreation of Katy Perry's Tarzan-inspired 'Roar' video.
Whoever on the Glee team decided to make the guys jump and swing around in nothing but loincloths, we salute you!
Honey Boo Boo, Mama June and Uncle Poodle Play Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary's
Looks like Honey Boo Boo is a fan of drag queen bingo!
Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo), her mother Mama June and Uncle Poodle were spotted at Drag Queen Bingo night at Hamburger Mary's in Jacksonville, Fla. Tuesday.
The sassy 7-year-old—who once famously proclaimed "Ain't nothin' wrong with bein' a little gay. Everybody's a little gay"—posed with drag queens and played bingo at the popular burger chain (celebs have also been known to frequent the West Hollywood location).
The night before it was announced that Cory Monteith, the 31-year-old star of the hugely popular and very fun TV show Glee, was found alone and dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, I was thinking about River Phoenix. This October, it will be 20 years since Phoenix, then 23, died on a sidewalk in LA while his sister Rainbow and girlfriend Samantha Mathis stood helplessly by and his little brother frantically called 911. Those of a younger generation may need reminding that River was Joaquin's older brother. Those of my generation and older will doubtless be reeling at the realisation it has been two decades since Phoenix went from being one of the world's most famously promising actors to one of its infamously dead.
Hollywood loves recycling plotlines, and one plotline that never goes away is that of the tragic teenage pin-up. That this story has become such a cliche only adds to the tragedy and sense of waste when it returns, again and again. The autopsy on Monteith has not yet been released but if drugs did play a part in his death – and that is not unthinkable, as he had struggled with substance abuse since his teens and recently left rehab for the second time – this would place him in a tragically popular pantheon. Off the top of my head, four teen icons have died from substance abuse in the past five years: Brad Renfro, Heath Ledger, Corey Haim, Brittany Murphy and one can include Amy Winehouse in there, too, already calcified into the status of a legend.
For millions of teenagers, the announcement of Monteith's death was as shocking as Phoenix's and Kurt Cobain's were for the now 30 and 40somethings, as Ledger's was for today's 20somethings. Every generation has its death and, for many teenagers, the death of a teen icon is how they learn about mortality. While it is true that social media can encourage the fetishisation of collective grief, equally, just because it is expressed in 140 characters, does not mean it isn't truly felt.
Looking at that list of teen icons, and then including some of the others who have died brutally and prematurely in the past 20 years, such as Phoenix and Cobain, it's interesting to note how many are male. The media have always been and are increasingly fascinated with self-destructive women in the public eye, with the National Enquirer once keeping a "death watch" on Lindsay Lohan. Self-destructive young men generally slip past the media's salacious radar unless they actively court the tabloids, Pete Doherty style. One can only imagine the paparazzi harassment Monteith's co-star and long-term girlfriend, Lea Michele, would have suffered had she been the one coming out of rehab. Monteith, by contrast, barely made an imprint on even TMZ.com. This not only makes the deaths of the young men more of a surprise to the public but also underlines how the media treats young women as objects of voyeuristic prey and young men as a backdrop.
Part of what makes Monteith's death so sad is that he always came across as a thoughtful, nice guy. This is not something one can say about many teen idols who die young. He spoke out against bullying,homophobia and talked often about how he hoped his recent stint in rehab from addiction would inspire others.
Most celebrities struggle with the disjunct between their public image and their private selves. This is exacerbated for teen icons, who are often selling a vision of life to young fans that is far from the speeded-up lives they live. By all accounts, Phoenix tussled with the contrast between the "whacked-out hippy" side of his life that preached veganism and the side that took heroin in nightclubs. Others, like poor Brad Renfro and Corey Haim, are dumped when their personal chaos is deemed to overshadow and undermine their professional work.
Monteith, unusually, tried to tie the two sides of his life together, refusing to deny or be defined by either Glee's clean-cut image or his problems with drugs: "You see this young, all-American quarterback-looking dude on the show … but I felt I had to step in at some point and relate to people my truth," he said in a recent TV interview, looking the picture of apple-pie good health, which he knew was a distracting cover.
When young entertainers die, it is tempting to look back and see eerie premonitions. Probably the most well-known is James Dean's public service announcement advocating safe driving, made just 13 days before he was killed in a car crash: "Take it easy driving! One of those lives you might save might be mine," Dean says jocularly as he walks off camera for the last time.
For Monteith, there's Glee's defining musical moment: the cast's performance of Don't Stop Believing in the pilot episode. The show makes the common mistake of thinking this is an optimistic song because of the title, whereas it is really the opposite: the story of lonely people desperately flinging themselves towards success in the belief it will save them, making it an apt song for aspiring teen icons. "Some will win!" belts out Michele during one of their duets. The camera swings round to Monteith, close-up: "Some will lose," he replies, grinning like the naughty little boy he once was.
There will never be a shortage of beautiful young people who crave fame. Whether it's the need for fame that bespeaks an inner emptiness that courts risk, or something about the fame itself that creates an unhappiness, which in turn necessitates oblivion, cannot be fully known. As Monteith's fans tearfully await the results of his autopsy, another slew of pretty young boys are grappling to take his place in the spotlight. Some will win, and some will lose.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Announces $3.3 million in New Grants
NEW YORK, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced its final round of grants for calendar year 2012, totaling $3,346,530. This new funding brings EJAF's total grant investments for 2012 to over $7.4 million.
"After 20 years of doing this work, I know that the only way to fight against AIDS is by helping everyone in need, especially those living at the margins of society," said Sir Elton John , who founded EJAF in 1992. "That's why we are very proud to support truly innovative organizations that are providing critical services to the most stigmatized populations."
EJAF's 16 new and 36 renewal grants support projects in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Southern United States, and national initiatives throughout the U.S. Target populations covered by this grant cycle include gay men, incarcerated populations, injection drug users, African Americans, and young people. Grantee activities include HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services, legal services, organization development, and policy and advocacy.
Domestic grants reach out to communities across the United States, including the states of Alabama (Birmingham), Florida(Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville, Lake Worth, Orlando, Panama City, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Wilton Manors), Georgia(Atlanta and Decatur), Illinois (Chicago and Naperville), Louisiana (Lake Charles), Mississippi (Ridgeland), New Jersey(Atlantic City), New York (Brooklyn, Bronx, and New York City), North Carolina (Raleigh), Oklahoma (Tulsa), Pennsylvania(Philadelphia), Texas (Austin, Dallas, and Houston), Virginia (Hampton Roads, Newport News, and Norfolk), and the District of Columbia.
Included among these new grants are several policy-related initiatives to move AIDS-related issues forward. The areas covered by these projects are the most pressing issues in 2013, including the reauthorization and implementation of the Ryan White Care Act, the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the full implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and the repeal of the ban on the use of federal funding for syringe exchange.
The Foundation also awarded three $25,000 emergency grants to assist several HIV/AIDS organizations in the New York/New Jersey area to help them recover from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and to provide services for people living with HIV/AIDS who have been displaced from their homes and jobs by the storm.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established as a nonprofit organization in the United States in 1992 and as a registered charity in the United Kingdom in 1993 by Sir Elton John . Together, both entities have raised more than $275 millionfor worthy programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, the Foundation is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and treatment, care, and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. The U.S. organization's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs throughout the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents.
For more information, and for a complete list and project descriptions for EJAF's 2012 grants, please visit www.ejaf.org.
American Airlines is the official sponsoring airline of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Tom Cruise Spanked By DragQueen At Matt Damon’s WildBirthday Bash!
The risqué party -- organized by Damon's All You Need Is Love co-star Emily Blunt and her husband, The Office star John Krasinski -- took place at The Box burlesque club on Saturday.
According to reports, both Cruise and the birthday boy Damon were cornered by the feisty drag queen during the bash.
A source told The Daily Star newspaper: “Emily’s husband John organized the kinky party, and chose to have it at Simon Hammerstein’s The Box club.
“He knew the birthday boy would see the funny side.
“Within the first couple of hours Tom and Matt were both paddled on their rears by the club’s cross-dressing hostess.
“Matt got extra spanking, of course, as it was his special night.”
In addition to Cruise, there were other famous faces at the party.
The source added: “It was a celeb-packed night, with stars including Chris Hemsworth and Bill Paxton turning out for Matt.
“Tom had arrived solo, but was soon having fun with his A-list friends.
“They all had a fantastic night enjoying the naughty stage shows and partying until the end of the night.”
Jennifer Lopez To Produce Show About Lesbian Couple For ABC Family
Nine years after she played a Lesbian character in the movie "Gigli," Jennifer Lopez is developing an hour-long show for ABC Family about a lesbian couple with kids.
According to Deadline.com, the new series centers on a lesbian couple with kids (one biological son and adopted teen twins--one a boy, the other a girl), whose household is turned upside down when a wayward teenage girl moves in.
Deadline reports that in addition to serving as the show's executive producer, J.Lo is also planning to guest star in the series.
La Lopez is one of several producers on the ABC Family series. Other producers include Simon Fields, Lopez’s partner at Nuyorican Productions, Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg, the creators and writers of the show, and Greg Gugliotta, who has worked with ABC Family before on movies like 2003’s "Beautiful Girl."
News about Lopez's new show comes amid reports that the Puerto Rican superstar will not return to FOX's "American Idol" next season.
John Travolta's Six Year Gay Affair
Joan Edwards, who worked for the ‘Grease’ star from 1978 to 1994 told the National Enquirer that not only was John definitely gay but that he had a sexual relationship with Doug. Travolta is currently facing two counts of sexual assault from male message therapists who claim he made advances to both of them.
“I did everything for him, including taking care of his personal and professional schedules. Of course I knew he was gay. It never bothered me,” she revealed.
"That's how I met Doug. We both worked for John at the same time. Doug is a wonderful guy and we are still good friends. He told me that John was gay and they had a sexual relationship," she added.
The relationship with Travolta, who has denied all claims of assault and doubts over his sexuality was also confirmed by another former boyfriend of Gotterba’s Robert Britz who said he even saw a video made by the couple when they were together.
"Doug told me right at the beginning of our relationship that he'd had a homosexual relationship with John Travolta in the 1980s,“ he told the National Enquirer.
“Doug said John was constantly grabbing at his genital area, but he put up with John's sexual advances because working for him was 'lucrative.’”
He went on: "I personally saw about two minutes of Doug's home video showing John Travolta sitting at the end of a bed with his shirt off.
“There were plates of food in front of him. The video appeared to be shot in a hotel room. Doug made it clear that it was very lucrative for him to be what he called John's 'personal right hand man' and homosexual partner.”
Gotterba was supposedly less than complimentary about the actor and said he had a “hairy body”.
"After a few years, Doug grew apart from John sexually, and John's advances eventually started to repulse him.”
"The relationship ended shortly thereafter." he added.
The relationship reportedly took place before Travolta married Kelly Preston in 1991.
The couple are said to be separated following the revelations about the actor’s personal life, though his legal team deny all of the allegations.
“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon tied the knot with her longtime lesbian partner in New York over the weekend.
The actress, 46, wore a custom dress by Carolina Herrera to her Sunday nuptials to 45-year-old education activist Christine Marinoni, Nixon’s rep told People magazine.
Nixon and Marinoni got engaged three years ago at a rally to support same-sex unions, and had vowed to wait to wed until gay marriage was legalized in New York.
The state legalized gay marriage on June 24, 2011.
Marinoni gave birth to their son, Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni, in February last year.
Gay celebrities and the decline...
When Jim Parsons, the Emmy-winning star of CBS' hit comedyThe Big Bang Theory, publicly confirmed that he is gay this week, he didn't announce it in a hyped TV interview, or declare "Yep, I'm gay" on the cover ofTime magazine. Instead, the 39-year-old actor casually shared the information with The New York Times' Patrick Healy, who mentioned Parsons' sexuality and his 10-year relationship with a man almost in passing, near the end of a lengthy article on Parson's role in a Broadway revival of Harvey. It was the kind of low-key coming out that's becoming increasingly common. Here, a chronological look at how we got from "mega-outings" to casual exits from the increasingly transparent closet:
February 1976 — Elton John
John comes out with a splash in an cover-story interview with Rolling Stones' Cliff Jahr. "I've never talked about this before — ha, ha," he says. "But I'm not going to turn off the tape. I haven't met anybody that I would like to settle down with — of either sex." Asked if he's bisexual, John replies, "There's nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex." He adds that he might have outed himself earlier, but "nobody's had the balls to ask me about it before." His comments generate headlines worldwide.
June 1992 — k.d. lang
The Canadian singer comes out in an interview with The Advocate, and follows up her announcement with a Vanity Fair cover in which scantily clad supermodel Cindy Crawford, armed with a straight razor, hovers over lang, who's sitting in a barber's chair, lathered up and in drag.
January 1993 — Melissa Etheridge
The rocker comes out to a crowd of about 2,500 people on the night of Bill Clinton's first presidential inauguration, at the Human Rights Campaign's first-ever Triangle Ball. I didn't plan it, Etheridge tells The Advocate in 2002. "I didn't even think, 'Oh, I'm going to come out here'... It was, 'Gee, I'm really excited to be here, and I'm really proud to have been a lesbian all my life.' And a big cheer went up through the whole hall, and k.d. [lang] came out and hugged me."
April 1997 — Ellen DeGeneres
DeGeneres employs a huge multimedia roll-out, says Alyssa Rosenberg at The Atlantic, that is part career advancement and part striving for "a more honest, fulfilled life." The key components of the coming-out strategy are "The Puppy Episode" of Ellen's primetime TV show, featuring Oprah Winfrey; an appearance earlier that day on Oprah's talk show; and, 16 days earlier, a TIME cover with Ellen and the boldface words: "Yep, I'm gay."
April 1998 — George Michael
The international pop star comes out to the world on CNN. "This is as good of a time as any," Michael tells CNN's Jim Moret. "I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I'm in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years." The announcement's impact is blunted by the fact that earlier that week Michael had been busted for a "lewd act" in a public men's room in Beverly Hills. "I feel stupid and I feel reckless and weak for having allowed my sexuality to be exposed this way," he adds. "But I don't feel any shame whatsoever."
February 2002 — Rosie O'Donnell
O'Donnell sort of blurts out her sexual orientation — "I'm a dyke!" — during her act at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit. But by that time, she has already taped an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in which she talks about being a gay parent of adoptive and foster kids. Actress Anne Heche, now married to a man, had alluded to her two-year relationship with O'Donnell in an earlier interview with Barbara Walters.
December 2007 — Jodie Foster
The May 2007 cover of Out magazine features models covering their faces with photos of Foster and Anderson Cooper and the headline "The Glass Closet." When asked about the cover, Foster has no comment. But in December, at a non-televised Women in Entertainment Power 100 awards ceremony, Foster nonchalantly thanks "my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss." Cydney Bernard had been rumored to be in a longterm relationship with Foster, but that one sentence was "all Foster had to do" to make it official, says Adam B. Vary inEntertainment Weekly. "There was no TIME cover story or official statement to the press, no Today show sit-down with Matt Lauer, no follow-up photo spread in People with her partner and family."
March 2010 — Ricky Martin
The Latino pop star outs himself with a very low-key personal letter posted on his website. After years of sidestepping questions about his sexual orientation, he writes, staying in the closet would "diminish the glow" of fathering his twin 2-year-old sons. "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," he concludes. "I am very blessed to be who I am."
January 2011 — Jonathan Knight
'80s pop star Tiffany mentions that the New Kids on the Block star, whom she'd dated years earlier, has "turned gay." Responding to reports that Tiffany had "outed" him, Knight shoots back on the band's website that he has never been in the closet. "Apparently the prerequisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption 'I am gay,'" he writes. "I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected!"
October 2011 — Zachary Quinto
The Star Trek star comes out by twice using the phrase "as a gay man..." in reference to himself in an interview with New York magazine. Quinto later explains that it was a conscious decision sparked by the suicide of gay 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer. Still, "like [Jodie] Foster, Quinto came out casually, in an interview that had nothing to do with Zachary Quinto Coming Out," says Entertainment Weekly's Vary.
February 2012 — Matt Bomer
The star of White Collar goes public at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards while accepting an award for his work on battling HIV/AIDS. In a nod to his longtime partner Simon Halls and their three children (via surrogates), he simply says that he'd "really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry.... You will always be my proudest accomplishment."
May 2012 — Jim Parsons
Five paragraphs from the end of a Times article that stretches to three pages online, Healy casually mentions that Parson's 2011 role in The Normal Heart (a drama about the world's unwillingness to confront the AIDS epidemic) "resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said." And that was that.
Martha’s voice has dominated the airwaves, and her charisma and spirit has embraced millions of people around the world...
She is responsible for some of the top-selling, most recognizable pop hits of the 80’s and 90’s. “It’s Raining Men”, the cult pop classic, is still heard everywhere. “Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” was the highlight of C+C Music Factory’s career and sold over 5 1/2 millions copies worldwide. Black Box’s “Dreamland” featured four #1 Billboard Dance Singles and three Top 40 hits including “Strike It Up”, a single that continues to receive massive airplay and is still heard at every NFL and NBA game everywhere! All of the above have one common denominator, Martha Wash. She is the heart and soul of dance music. Her timelessness and renowned presence has been instrumental in shaping popular music as we hear it today.The highlights of Martha’s career create a colorful history, telling the story of dance and pop music from the days of disco to the present. She has toured and performed with the world’s top entertainers. In addition, she was half of the magnificent duo Two Tons of Fun which evolved into the Weather Girls with the release of “It’s Raining Men”, a worldwide hit.
Her previous CD, “The Collection”, reintroduced the legendary hit, “It’s Raining Men”, with a new millennium-style featuring larger-than-life personality RuPaul. “Strike It Up” was also re-recorded especially for this album. “Sweat” (C+C Music Factory) was featured on this collection in it’s original form. All these hits were turning points in pop music, bringing an underground club flavor into the mainstream and enduring as classic radio favorites.
Martha began her musical career at the age of two in her parent’s church in her native San Francisco. She went on to study opera and tour Europe while still in high school. Martha become part of a contemporary gospel group called N.O.W. (News Of The World). This mix of classical and gospel training and experience accounts for her seemingly effortless transition from ballads to dance to pop music. Martha has also starred in major theatre productions (Andre Heller’s “Body & Soul” and David E. Talbert’s “Love on Lay-Away”), as well as recorded numerous jingles and movie soundtracks (“Kiss Me Guido”, “First Wives Club”, “MIghty Ducks” and “Gung Ho”). She has performed at the White House for former President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton as well as international heads of state.
Martha joined forces with Jim Papoulis (composer) in his project called, “Sounds of a Better World, Small Voices Calling”. The CD is a unique series of songs, a hybrid of pop, orchestral, world beat and gospel. The project was inspired by the image of children confronting a world they did not create, facing a future they must shape and embrace. Martha had the privilege of performing the first single, “Listen To The People”, at Carnegie Hall.
Martha has done considerable charity work over the years especially in the area of HIV and AIDS prevention. She is requested on a regular basis to help raise funds for local and national organizations.
Her latest single, “You Lift Me Up”, is from her forthcoming Gospel CD. It’s her first recording in 4 years and on her own label Purple Rose Records. Produced by Michael Hearn and Maurice Johnson, it’s a strong, up-lifting, song with a message of hope and inspiration.
Martha is noted for her many voices. Those voices add up to one big-hearted Diva who truly practices what she preached in her early disco hit, “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven”. Give a little, take a little, put a little back, we’re all brothers and sisters, and that’s a fact!
Lady Gaga is donating her peace award to charity.
She said yesterday at the ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland, whilst accepting the prize: "I will be donating this grant to the Elton John Aids Foundation and I will be working closely with them to ensure that the money goes specifically to those orphaned and disadvantaged youth in America born with HIV or AIDS.
"I dare you to be compassionate in a cynical age."
The LennonOno Grant For Peace is a biennial award in memory of the late Beatles musician John Lennon and Yoko said that she is proud of Gaga for campaigning for gay rights, telling AFP News Agency: "Gaga is powerful and it's great that she is using her power to do other things than just singing."
Gaga is known for donating to different causes - such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti - as well as launching her own Born This Way Foundation advocating more empowerment, education and acceptance among young people.
The eccentric singer shared this year's prize with Russian punk band Pussy Riot, late writer Christopher Hitchens, author John Perkins and Rachel Corrie - an activist who was killed when protesting in Gaza.
The award was first established in 2002 and is now given out every two years to honor people who are actively working for peace. The size of the award has never been disclosed.
Brad Pitt's mother, Jane Pitt, with her Oscar-nominated son at this year's Academy Awards.
Turns out Brad Pitt's mother doesn't much like at least one of her son's friends, according to a letter she wrote earlier this week knocking President Obama and supporting candidate Mitt Romney.
Jane Pitt wrote her letter to the News-Leader in response to another reader's missive suggesting Christians not support Romney for president because of his Mormon faith. In the letter to the Springfield, Mo., paper, she pulled no punches.
Urging "prayerful consideration" from fellow Christians as they choose how they'll vote in November, Mama Pitt made the point that a vote against Mormonism -- or no vote at all -- would translate into support for the self-identified pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage incumbent Obama.
Or, as she put it more specifically, casting a vote for "a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage."
"I think any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon."
Her actor son, of course, is a noted supporter of gay-marriage rights who made his stage debut in an anti-Prop. 8 play in March and was photographed hanging out in the Oval Office with ol' Barack and Angelina Jolie as recently as January.
Read the letter in its entirety here. Looks as if mother and son's votes will cancel each other out? Assuming both are registered voters.
America appears split in its backing of the competing Pitt family values: A Gallup poll of 1,024 U.S. adults taken May 3-6 found 50% self-identifying as "pro-life," with 41% calling themselves "pro-choice." Gallup's poll of 1,018 U.S. adults taken May 5-8 found 50% supporting same-sex marriage, with 48% against.
When Don first came onto the stage, Britney recognised him instantly, exclaiming:
“I know him. We did a duet together ten years ago.”
A witness confirmed: ”
She recognised him straight away. She got this huge smile on her face and her eyes lit up. It was so sweet.”
Fellow judge Simon Cowell asked:
“Where have you been?”
Don says the question was extremely symbolic for him. Where had he been?
“I’ve been learning to love myself and all the things that go with that,” he tells RumorFix.
Although Don had a recording contract at the age of 19, he gave it all up because he didn’t know how to face being gay.
“I was going through some deep inner demons.”
”The secret I have is that I’m gay — and its the answer to everything,” he told the judges. “It’s what’s held me back!”
“I’ve never been able to give an answer until now. It may sound like a small reason, but it’s a big f***king reason — being gay and scared. The scared part never leaves.”
A very stunned Britney listened open-mouthed as her old friend explained how he had known of his sexuality at the time of their duet, some ten years before but had held back from telling her, in fear that she wouldn’t approve.
Talking to his old friend, who has certainly battled her own demons over the years, he confessed: “At the time, I didn’t think I was worthy. I didn’t think you thought it was OK that I am gay.”
Britney may have been shocked and stunned and taken unawares but she certainly wasn’t judgmental and insisted:
“I think it is fine you are gay.”
A source told America’s People magazine: “When he started crying and saying he thought he’d never see her again and that he’d had a lot to deal with, Britney was comforting him to calm him.
“She’s been through a lot in those ten years, too, so it must have been a shock for her to see him. She handled it unbelievably well and really stepped up to the situation.”
Still something went wrong, Don says he messed up his audition after all the emotion. He added:
“I just had this Aha moment — I had nothing left.”
Don wrote the following on his Facebook page yesterday:
“Tonight i might have sealed my music career fate according to a certain music mogul. I tryed to just be real and instead it totally got turned around on me. . Perhaps this was not the place for me to reveal my very soul and obstacles of my past. Certainly not the place for a reunion … I promise I only had good intentions in mind.. There is one problem my good intentioned comments and revelation were refereed by two pompass arrogant men. My voice froze i started to sing when I was told to but I could not recover from what felt like a really hardcore interogation. I guess I am not as tough skinned as I thought….Wait it gets worse.. when I looked into the very eyes of my old label mate and saw she to was sad.I knew the whole situation was spinning out of control.. my heart broke.. I am numb”
The brave singer later wrote, “maybe simon will give me a second chance.. i was so exhausted could not sleep night before..and so scared to face britney thinking what to say.. Also i had been carrying this heavy burden..and i wanted to just let it out..so all day it was brewing..and 4 hours of interviews..left my voice done.. Simon give me another shot..like the past xfactor winner.. i can do it”
Although he was devastated about not making it on the show, he wrote on his Facebook page that the experience “clears up alot of past issues for me and gives me joy to know Brit 100% accepted me and does now.”
He added on Twitter, “Still brits biggest fan.”
Since Don’s brave coming out party was reported, he’s received thousands of letters and emails from kids saying “Thank you for being brave, maybe I can be brave too.” Don says, “How powerful is that?”
Don says his gay announcement may mean the end of his music career, but he says it’s OK because, “I feel good. I feel free.”
Torch Song Trilogy
This comedy-drama, which won the 1983 Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Play, tells the poignant story of an outsider’s search for love and acceptance. Originally conceived and performed in three acts, drag queen Arnold encounters passion, thrills, love and loss. This intimate and powerful play is bursting with courage and sharp wit, as Arnold fights for his place in the world and his right to happiness.
Directed by Douglas Hodge, who won the Olivier award in 2009 and the Tony award in 2010 for his role as Albin in the Chocolate Factory production of ‘La Cage aux Folles’ and starring David Bedella, Joe McFadden and Sara Kestleman, this revival affords a whole new generation of gays and gals the chance to experience Fierstien’s polemic from an age when the kind of rights that we enjoy these days could only be dreamt of.
Unfortunately homophobia still exists as does the violence portrayed in ‘Torch Song Trilogy’, so its revival promises to be a must-see for anyone interested in the history of LGBT politics as it gives as honest and penetrating view of what it was like to be gay thirty years ago as you’ll ever experience.
‘Torch Song Trilogy’ runs until 20 August at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Previews until 11 June.
Queen Latifah: I wasn't coming out at gay festival
The rapper/actress tells Entertainment Weekly, "That definitely wasn't the case...I've never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It's just not gonna happen."
Speculation spread after Latifah -- real name Dana Owens -- signed on for the May 19 event. And the rumors got louder after shesaid she was proud to be among "my people" during her performance. But the 42-year old says people shouldn't read too much into any of this.
"To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things," she explains. "My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year's Eve in San Francisco...we had a blast in there."
Latifah, who will be in a upcoming remake of "Steel Magnolias" on Lifetime, had words of encouragement for her gay fans.
"I know that the most important thing and the only thing I have to give is love. When people are going through hatred and bullying, the biggest thing to fight that is love," she says. "So that's all I encouraged my audience to do that night: to share their light and share their love."
Watch video of her clarification below:
"I don't care what people think"
George, who certainly does seem happy with his lady love, Stacy Keibler, adds, "Who does it hurt if someone thinks I'm gay? I'll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don't give a s**t."
Like his good buddy Brad Pitt, who claims he and Angelina Jolie won't tie the knot until everyone can, George has been hard at work trying to legalize gay marriage.
"One day the marriage equality fight will look as archaic as George Wallace standing on the University of Alabama steps keeping James Hood from attending college because he was black. People will be embarrassed to have been on the wrong side," George explains.
"I think it's funny, but the last thing you'll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, 'These are lies!' That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community," George explains "I'm not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I'm very happy in it."
Simon furious with David Walliams' 'gay' jibes
Simon Cowell is reportedly fuming with his friend and fellow BGT judge David Walliams after making regular jokes about his sexuality on the Jonathon Ross show, pushing him to the limit
The pair were recording a joint interview when the comedian apparently crossed the line, leaving Simon pretty angry.
It all started when David said: 'The main question I get is, "Is Simon gay?" Even my mum asks. She says, "He's nice. Is he gay?" '
And while Simon tried to steer the pair away from this chat by mentioning that he often worked from midday to 5am, Walliams joked: 'At 12 o'clock at night you're working quite hard - because that's when the ladyboys come round.'
Simon joked: 'It's worth pointing out that I have a relationship with ITV and most of this will be edited out.'
The BGT boss was then overheard telling Jonathon as the show broke for an advert segment: 'I want to have a word with you.'
However, a source close to Simon said he took it all in good humour, adding: 'Simon knows exactly what David & Jonathan are like!'
Simon even took to Twitter last night to make light of the situation: 'Did Jonathan Ross show last night with @davidwalliams - he's out of control. Just wait till BGT starts David, I'll get my own back!'
Walliams then replied: 'Honey, I am just getting started! You wait until the live shows!'
We love their banter. Can't wait until the live shows!
A-Rod being approached for indie film's drag queen role
NEW YORK -- If the Yankees keep losing, perhaps Alex Rodriguez can fall back on acting.
The star third baseman is being approached to play a drag queen in an upcoming indie movie on Salvador Dali -- "The Surrealist" starring Alan Cumming.
Producers think A-Rod would be ideal in the role as Dali's "factotum social secretary" Potassa -- a stunning, leggy drag queen.
"It's quite a good idea and has a serious side to it," says the director, Philippe Mora.
"Dali was obsessed with baseball. Walt Disney used to take him to [games]. At first it sounds hilarious, but it's a serious [offer]."
Mora said the idea to approach A-Rod was cooked up by Richard Dupont, a Dali and Andy Warhol acolyte who also points out the ballplayer "has great legs."
A-Rod's potential casting, of course, is still just an idea.
"It's early days," Mora said.
A source close to A-Rod says, "He's really focused on the season, and on winning a championship."
The slugger's rep had no comment.
Carson Daly says gays couldn't have stopped JetBlue pilot
TV and radio host Carson Daly weighed in on the recent problems involving a JetBlue pilot, but we're going to guess that he wishes he hadn't.
It was on his radio show on Thursday (March 28) that Daly was discussing the flight in which a pilot had to be restrained by passengers. Daly weighed in by explaining, "Most of the people were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas...So there's a bunch of dudes, and well-trained dudes...Thank God."
He continues, "With my luck, it would be like, 'This is the flight going to [Gay] Pride in San Francisco'...I mean, that would be my colleagues."
Daly then affects what he believes to be a gay voice saying, "Uh, we're headed down to Vegas for the floral convention. Can we get a little help up here with the pilot? Oh no! No thank you."
Daly has since apologized, writing on his Twitter page, "This morning on my radio show I attempted to make fun of myself & offended others by mistake. I sincerely apologize."
Men are fans, too, of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
NEW YORK—They're young and old, doctors and churchgoers, gay and straight—and those are just the MEN who have devoured oh-so-naughty "Fifty Shades of Grey," an erotic trilogy that has earned millions of women fans in a matter of weeks.Reading on iPads and Kindles or hurriedly picking up the books in stores, some didn't know about the romance part, thinking the surprise best-seller by newcomer E L James would be more "American Psycho" than steamy Harlequin.
Others knew exactly what they were getting into, buying into the buzz since the venerable imprint Knopf took on publishing rights, shoring up a story that began as "Twilight" fan fiction and putting it out in handy trade paperback on April 3.
There's flogging and bondage and sex toys. And a steely control freak of a gazillionaire Christian Grey, a damaged sexual "dominant" who enlists the virginal (not for long) college coed Anastasia Steele for rough-but-consensual role play.
Jeremiah Wirth, a grad student and Iraqi war vet in Maine, said the opening book was nothing short of a life-changer. He read it on a business trip to "magical" Hawaii, returning home to Bangor a better man.
"I was away from my girlfriend. I was lonely and I was reading this book in this beautiful place and I thought it would be something fun and easy," said the 26-year-old Kurt Vonnegut and Star Wars fan, just a year younger than the fictional Grey.
"People hear about flogging and stuff like
Advertisementthat in this book, and they don't get it. I became emotionally invested in the love story, especially from the female's perspective. That was important to me, to put myself in Ana's shoes. It was overwhelming, and I'll never forget it," Wirth said.He was moved to send James an email, "apologizing for assuming that your book was anything less than it is: wonderful." And she responded, his deep interest surprising even her, "given that you don't fit the demographic of the readership (women 17-100) but I am delighted that you enjoyed it."
The book didn't shatter 66-year-old David Shobin in Smithtown, N.Y. The semi-retired gynecologist and newbie romance reader who writes medical thrillers on the side picked up the first "Fifty Shades" to see for himself "what all the hullabaloo was about."
He liked it well enough and received hundreds of responses to a funny review he wrote on Amazon.
"At my age, my arthritis flared up just reading about Ana's sexual gymnastics," Shobin wrote, adding that her "pyrotechnic climaxes resembled repetitively watching porn: after a while, it leaves me bored and yawning."
He conceded a "definite infectiousness to the plot" but found it hard to believe Ana had absolutely no sexual experience before literally stumbling into Grey's office to interview him for her college newspaper.
"I had an intellectual curiosity," Shobin added in an interview. "I don't quite know what to make of this sort of sexual activity but as a love story, it did succeed."
Will his wife, a regular volunteer at their church, be reading?
"Probably not," Shobin said. "I told her a little bit about the bondage part and she showed very little interest in that, so it was a short conversation. She mainly reads memoirs."
John Puckett, who is gay, spared no superlative from San Dimas, Calif., where he works as a theatrical manager about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Usually preferring autobiography and true crime stories, he's now reading all three "Fifty Shades" books for a second time.
"I was pretty much hooked from the beginning," said Puckett, 45. "It grabs a hold of you and it doesn't let go."
Most appealing, he said, is Grey's slowly unpeeled vulnerability, that "lost, hurt little boy who craves nothing more than to be deserving of unconditional love."
The books are flying off the shelves at the Books & Books stores in south Florida. James opens her first U.S. tour in Miami on Sunday.
"I first found out about the books back in December, from men who wanted to buy them for their wives," said Mitchell Kaplan, the chain's owner. "You really got the sense that these books are helping relationships in some way."
Dr. Mehmet Oz sees that potential, dedicating Wednesday's show to exploring the books with an audience of women and, yes, men who have read them.
"This woman has gotten people talking about sex in a way that no one else could get them to talk about it," he said Tuesday night from the red carpet of a gala honoring Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world—James included with the likes of President Obama and Rihanna.
Are sex lives changing, marriages evolving?
"They're not tying up their women. It's not about sadism," Oz said of men drawn to the books. "What it is about is people having an honest conversation about what sex should be like, what makes it feel better, what are the timing issues, how do we make it an important issue in our life rather than an afterthought. When the guys get into it I know we've got something going."
James, a Londoner and former TV producer with two teen sons, didn't attend the event but has said she wrote the books to de-stress. She replaced her original Twi-names as her story jumped from free downloads promoted on fan sites to not-free e-books and hard copy from an Australian publisher, then finally Knopf, home to Toni Morrison and John Updike.
Bob James, an ex-Marine and dad of four grown children, has heard of those two, but he's also a regular romance reader and a "Twilight" fan. He first read "Fifty Shades" when it was still fan fiction, coming across it on Facebook and a site for "Twi-moms."
"Most people who criticize it haven't read it," said James, 50, who is not related to the author. "They take things out of context and just pick the sex scenes out. I liked the romance. Ana is drawing him away from all the bondage stuff."
Has he picked up any marital pointers from the attentive yet troubled Grey?
"I learned that I do need to show more of a protective nature toward her in public," said James, in Manassas, Va. "There's something that's drawing women to read it and it would behoove a man to know what that is."