Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

23 years of Billy Masters

Aretha contrarian, sex in the rectory, Armie, P-town and David Drake’s junk

Published

on

Provincetown Playhouse’s David Drake bares it all for his art. (Photo by Tim Atkinson, courtesy David Drake)

“All of my best friends are gay.  I support the community.  I love the community.  They love me.  That has nothing to do with this.” — Kim Kardashian speaks out about possibly accusing Tyson Beckford of being gay after he criticized a photo of her booty.  Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

Nobody ever questioned Aretha Franklin’s talent — certainly in its prime, it was beyond reproach.  But one rarely heard of a fun-loving Aretha who loved people.  She wasn’t that kinda diva.  It takes a special skill to come off badly in your own autobiography, but Auntie Ree did it in “Aretha: From These Roots.” 

As with everything, she lived on her own terms.  PETA didn’t like that she wore furs?  She started wearing them onstage.  People criticized her weight?  She wore dresses with spaghetti straps (which must have been made of airplane wire).  A personal shopper informed her that purple was the only color that didn’t suit her?  She showed up at the next concert in purple.  People gossiped about her skipping Whitney’s funeral?  She sent a largely incoherent and endless fax to the press saying nothing that defended herself and fueled a feud with Dionne.  She was always Aretha — spaghetti-strap, fur-wearing, purple, petty Aretha.  But when she strolled onstage and plopped her purse on the piano (she reportedly didn’t trust anyone backstage), it was magic.  The queen is dead — long live the queen.

Did you hear about the latest church sex scandal? 

For several years, the Pennsylvania Attorney General has been investigating six Catholic Church dioceses in the state.  According to the 900-page court document, over 300 priests have been accused of sexually assaulting and grooming children in their parishes. The ringleaders are alleged to have been a “gang of four priests” who worked together.  The report claims that when a priest found a boy he felt was, um, “compliant,” he would give him a gold cross to wear around his neck.  “The crosses were markings of which boys had been groomed for abuse,” says Attorney General Josh Shapiro.  “One boy was forced to stand on a bed in a rectory, strip naked, and pose as Christ on the cross for the priests.”  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times — nothing good happens in the rectory.

As you probably know, churches are non-profit organizations and are typically granted tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.  Last week, the IRS granted such an exemption to a new church called the Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft!  The group claims that they “come together to form a congregation of adherents to our female born, lesbian-feminist-based religion beliefs and traditions.”

That all sounds fine and dandy, but the group that formed this “church” is the Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminists!  And it’s exactly what you think it is — and kudos to them for not trying to hide their bigotry.  “Males are not permitted to participate, regardless of how they identify.”  This sounds like it could be a plot point on the new “Charmed” series — coming soon to The CW.

The good news — Disney’s first openly gay character appears in the upcoming live-action film, “The Jungle Cruise.” The bad news — the guy playing the gay character is straight.  The upshot — people are pissed.  Because apparently acting is no longer “acting.”  Only Jews can play Jews, lesbians can play lesbians, etc.  It was not long ago that gay actors bemoaned the opportunities to play straight parts.  “I’m an actor – I can play any role,” they’d say in frustration.  I do hope they all remember this when the only roles available to them are the gay best friend.

Armie Hammer is appearing in the Broadway play “Straight White Men” alongside trans performer Kate Bornstein.  At one of the preview performances, Kate began the play with the opening line — “Good evening ladies, gentlemen, and the rest of us.”  Well, this was too much for one woman in the audience, who exclaimed, “You’re not welcome here!”  It is reported that the woman and her husband frequently interrupted the play by booing. 

Armie later tweeted, “To the woman in our audience who felt it was appropriate to yell, ‘You’re not welcome here!’ at Kate Bornstein, our beloved friend, co-worker, and now family member…feel free never to come back.” 

This led to another audience member tweeting back that she sat behind the woman and her husband.  Armie asked for the specific seat number, which the lady provided.  It still begs the question — if audience members are being disruptive, why aren’t they dealt with by the theater right then and there?

Last week was the 40th annual Carnival celebration in Provincetown. 

To commemorate the event, they had 40 Grand marshals.  One of the honorees was the beloved Bruce Vilanch, which was fortuitous since he happened to be in town to perform two shows at The Crown & Anchor.  We recently did a Queery Q&A with Vilanch for the Los Angeles Blade, which you can read online.

Another honoree was David Drake, the new artistic director of the Provincetown Theater.  He also directed and stars in the theater company’s current offering, Terrence McNally’s “Love! Valour! Compassion!,”which runs through August 30th.  If you don’t know the play, the entire cast is nude at various points.  As luck would have it, some footage from the show has fallen into our hot little hands.  If I’m not mistaken, this will provide the first public viewing of the fabled Drake Dick.  And it’s just as big as you heard, as you’ll see on BillyMasters.com.

When we’re showcasing Drake’s snake, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  But we do have one more important thing to say — Happy Anniversary to ME!  Yes, way, WAY back in August of 1995, I was cajoled into writing my first column.  And now, 23 years later, week in and week out, we’re still here.  As they used to say in those ads that no longer run on television, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”  In fact, we’ve come all the way to our own website -— BillyMasters.com — the site where you’ll be coming before too long.  If you want to send me a question (or an anniversary greeting) you can write to [email protected] and I promise to get back to you before I celebrate my Silver Jubilee!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Events

Pansexual Visibility Day 2022 is May 24

Days like Pansexuality Visibility Day are perfect for educating people about the various ways people experience sexual & romantic attraction

Published

on

Graphic via Project MORE

NEW YORK – The Trevor Project is honoring Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness and Visibility Day on May 24, noting that it is a day to celebrate the pansexual and panromantic community and educate others on the community.

As part of creating awareness for the pansexual community, The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, captured important data related to the experiences of pansexual youth, who made up 20% of the survey sample.

2022 National Survey Data on Pansexual Youth

  • 53% of pansexual youth reported that they seriously considered suicide and 21% reported they attempted suicide in the past year.
  • 66% of pansexual youth reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and 79% reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
  • 36% of pansexual youth reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed due to their sexual orientation.
  • 69% of pansexual youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

The Project MORE Foundation, a leading nonprofit service and support provider to the Northern California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ+) and Ally community explains what it means to be Pansexual:

One common misconception that even members of the LGBTQ+ community have is that pansexuality and bisexuality are the same. Bisexuality can loosely be defined as attraction to more than one gender, but many define it with the more narrow definition of attraction to both genders, i.e,: men and women.

Pansexuality differs in that it includes sexual attraction inclusive of ALL gender identities, which means that people can also be drawn to those who are gender fluid or genderqueer. It is similar for people who are panromantic. When a person identifies as panromantic, it means that they can feel romantically towards anyone of any gender identity. 

When people come out as pansexual, headlines often emphasize that it’s different than being bi, and while that’s true, somebody who is bi may also identify as pan and vice versa. The bisexuality umbrella term includes those who feel attracted to two or more gender identities. Pansexuality refers to people who feel sexual attraction to any gender identity, but because their preference includes two or more genders, they could also consider themself bi. Being pan doesn’t mean that a person is going to be attracted towards everyone, but simply that gender identity doesn’t play a role in that attraction. 

There are many people who identify as pansexual or panromantic, such as Jazz Jennings, the famous 20-something LGBTQ+ rights advocate who came out as trans as a child. Authors Dana Mele and Caitlin Ricci identify as panromantic. Miley Cyrus, Janelle Monáe, and Brendon Urie are also among famous celebrities who identify as pansexual. 

It is quite common that people who are pansexual go on a journey of self-discovery to figure out their true sexuality. Some, like Bella Thorne, initially identified as bisexual, but then grew to realize that gender plays little to no role in their attraction, so her definition of her sexuality changed to reflect that. 

Miley Cyrus, who came out in 2015 as pansexual, is among one of those who went down the path to self-discovery when it came to her sexuality. In an interview with Variety, she said that an interaction with a non-binary individual helped her understand that she felt attraction towards them regardless of how they expressed their gender. In that moment, she didn’t feel gay, straight, or bi, because she wasn’t.

Because definitions can be held loosely, one of the most important takeaways is that how a person identifies their sexual or romantic attraction can differ from one day to the next, but celebrating and respecting a person for who they are is what matters most. Days like Pansexuality and Panromantic Visibility Day are perfect for educating people about the various ways people experience sexual and romantic attraction.

About the 2022 National Survey

This survey is one of the largest and only surveys of its kind, representing the experiences of nearly 34,000 LGBTQ young people ages 13-24 across the U.S. It’s also one of the most diverse surveys of LGBTQ youth ever conducted – with 45% of respondents being youth of color and 48% being trans or nonbinary.

Lastly, The Trevor Project has a guide, “How to Support Bisexual Youth: Ways to Care for Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, and Queer Youth Who are Attracted to More than One Gender” that offers best practices for those looking to support the youth who are attracted to more than one gender in their lives.

Continue Reading

Sports

Mavericks’ Reggie Bullock, finalist for NBA award for LGBTQ+ advocacy

The NBA announced this week the guard-forward is one of the finalists for its 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award

Published

on

Reggie Bullock (Dallas Mavericks/YouTube)

DALLAS – While San Francisco is celebrating the Golden State Warriors’ huge Wednesday night Game 1 victory over the Mavericks in the NBA Western Conference Finals, LGBTQ groups in Dallas are cheering on Dallas’s Reggie Bullock for his work off the court. 

The NBA announced this week the guard-forward is one of the finalists for its 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award, which honors players who have made strides in fighting for social justice and advocating for equality.

Other finalists include the Milwaukee Bucks’s Jrue Holiday, the Memphis Grizzlies’s Jaren Jackson Jr., the Minnesota Timberwolves’s Karl-Anthony Towns and the Toronto Raptors’s Fred VanVleet.

The NBA said Bullock’s push for LGBTQ equity stems from the 2014 murder of his sister, Mia Henderson, a transgender woman.

“Bullock has focused on acceptance of all people by working to create truly inclusive communities through neighborhood engagement and national efforts around the LGBTQ movement, including participating in the NYC Pride March, the GLAAD Media Awards, and NBA events for LGBTQ youth and allies,” according to an NBA news release. “Most recently, as part of the Mavs Take ACTION! initiative, Bullock participated in a courageous conversation as part of the HUDDLE series to uplift the trans community, amplify community organizations who are working to support and protect LGBTQ individuals, and create opportunities for allyship.”

Since joining the Mavs a year ago, Bullock, 31, has teamed-up with groups that include Abounding Prosperity, Dallas Southern Pride, House of Rebirth, The Black-Tie Dinner, the Resource Center, as well as the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation. That organization was founded in memory of a trans woman murdered in Dallas.

On this year’s International Day of Trans Visibility, March 31, Bullock joined the founder of the Muhlashia Booker Foundation, Stephanie Houston, and Leslie McMurray, Transgender Education & Advocacy Associate for a session titled, Voices Unheard, Uplifting Trans Perspectives. 

He shared memories of his sister Mia and how her murder motivated him to use his platform as an NBA player to fight for equal rights and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bullock has also started his own charitable organization, RemarkaBULL, which provides housing and support to members of the LGBTQ+ community in need. Through RemarkaBULL, Bullock wrote an open letter to the NCAA protesting Idaho’s anti-trans student-athlete House Bill 500, which was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little in March of 2020. The law is on hold pending a review by a federal court.

The winner of the Social Justice Award will be announced during the Western Conference Finals, now underway. The winner receives $100,000 donated to the charity of their choice, and the other finalists receive $25,000 donations for their organizations. Bullock’s charity of choice is Kinston Teens, which empowers young people to engage in activism and community development.

In Wednesday night’s Western Conference Final game 1, Bullock scored 12 points, shooting 3/10 3-pt and 3 rebounds in the Mavericks’ 87-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Game 2 is set to tip off Friday at 9 p.m. ET, Golden State leads 1-0.

Continue Reading

Television

New trailer gives first glimpse into new ‘Queer as Folk’

The highly-anticipated return looks poised to make some welcome improvements as it reinvents the beloved series for a new era

Published

on

Courtesy of PEACOCK

HOLLYWOOD – Depending on who you ask, the soon-to-be-dropped reimagining of “Queer as Folk” could well be the biggest LGBTQ television event – or the biggest mistake – of the year.

The groundbreaking original British version of the series, created and written by Russell T. Davies in 1999 (decades before his recent triumph with “It’s A Sin” introduced him to a new generation of queer viewers), has already had an American adaptation in 2000, and each of these installments has its own legion of fans – many of whom have expressed their qualms (to put it mildly) over the entire idea of a new reboot.

That, however, hasn’t stopped Davies from joining forces with writer/director/creator Stephen Dunn (“Closet Monster”) to executive produce one for Peacock. 

Shade from old-school fans aside, the highly-anticipated return of the franchise looks poised to make some welcome improvements as it reinvents the beloved series for a new era. This time, the story promises to deliver a much more diverse assortment of characters than the group of predominantly white gay men featured by its predecessors, with a story centered on a group of LGBTQ friends in New Orleans as their lives are transformed in the aftermath of a recent tragedy.

The new iteration also scores points by employing queer actors to portray all its queer roles – resulting in an impressive lineup of names on its cast list including Ryan O’Connell (“Special”), Johnny Sibilly (“Pose”), Devin Way (“Grey’s Anatomy’), Jesse James Keitel (“Alex Strangelove”), Fin Argus, Candace Grave, Benito Skinner, and Juliette Lewis, and even Kim Cattrall as a “martini-soaked, high society Southern debutante with trailer park roots.” 

Of his reason for getting on board a new adaptation of his show, Davies says, “I’m very proud of what we achieved in 1999, but in queer years, that was a millennium ago! As a community, we’ve radicalized, explored, opened up, and found new worlds – with new enemies and new allies – and there was so much to be said.

Stephen pitched a brand new version of ‘Queer as Folk’ with so much imagination, insight, and crucially, joy, that I simply couldn’t resist. I thought it was about time the title belonged to a whole new generation. The 2022 show is more diverse, more wild, more free, more angry – everything a queer show should be.”

As for Dunn, he explains, “I wanted to create a new groundbreaking version of this show for this moment. Our new ‘Queer as Folk’ is set in New Orleans — one of the most unique queer communities in North America – and I am immensely proud that the new series is comprised of an electric ensemble of fresh characters that mirror the modern global audience.

If there’s one person who is able to see ‘Queer as Folk’ and feel less alone, or who now feels more supported and seen, our job is done. In the true spirit of the original, our show doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of our community, but above all else, the series is about people who live vibrant, vital, unapologetically queer lives.” 

Jacklyn Moore, who co-wrote the new series with Dunn and Executive Produced alongside him and Davies, adds, “I believe deeply in the power of storytelling to make people feel seen, but all too often I feel as though queer and trans representation in art is limited to extremes. We are either shown as saintly heroes bravely surviving a bigoted society or two-dimensional queer-coded villains that feel airdropped in from some previous era. With ‘Queer as Folk,’ we aimed to depict queer characters who live in the messy middle. People who are complicated. Who are funny and caring and flawed and sometimes selfish, but still worthy of love. Still worthy of narrative. As a trans woman, I’m excited to take steps to move past telling stories that seem to just be arguing for our basic humanity. My hope is that Queer as Folk is one such step.”

We’re sure we speak for the rest of the eagerly-waiting fans when we say that we all hope that, too. We can all find out together when Peacock begins streaming the new “Queer as Folk” on June 9.

Queer as Folk | Official Trailer | Peacock Original

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular