Gossip doesn’t take a holiday – even on Thanksgiving. While your beloved Billy was nibbling on assorted legs and thighs, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade featured two women kissing. And? I mean, it’s 2018…there must have been more to it than just that. Nope, apparently that was it. People online were going berserk after a same-sex smooch between two female cast members from the Broadway musical “The Prom,” a show about a group of actors saving a high school prom after the PTA threatens to cancel the event if a lesbian couple attends (I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s great). When the ladies locked lips on live TV, life imitated art and a few vocal people expressed their outrage. One Tweet tickled me. “Millions of small children just watched two girls kiss and had their innocence broken this morning.” Two things: 1) I’d be shocked if the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade had one million total viewers, let alone millions of children, and b) Are kids really shocked by two girls kissing?
In a story that will put the tingle back in your loins, my pal John Wesley Shipp has winched his considerable assets back into tights to once again play “The Flash.” “Billy,” I can almost hear you crying, “Doesn’t he play the father of ‘The Flash’?” Oh, how soon they forget. Back when James Van Der Beek barely had his first pubes, Shipp was the eponymous “Flash” for CBS. Yes, now he plays the father. But in the ’90s, our superheroes were much hunkier. For the fifth annual “Arrowverse” crossover, “Elseworld” will feature characters from “The Flash,” “Arrow” and “Supergirl” in a CW spectacular. The event takes place over three nights, December 9-11, introduces Batwoman and Lois Lane, and features Shipp in tights for the first time since 1990. Well, there was that night I spent with him in Toledo back in 2011…but that’s another story.
Someone else used to tight clothing is Jeff Rohrer, who was a Dallas Cowboy from 1982-1989. The former linebacker not only came out as gay, but married his partner of two years, Joshua Ross (facialist on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”). Jeff is the first member of the NFL to be in a “known same-sex marriage.” He told The New York Times, “If I had told the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s that I was gay, I would have been cut immediately. It was a different world back then, people didn’t want to hear that.”
You’ll recall that 102-year-old Olivia de Havilland is fuming at Ryan Murphy and FX Networks over how she was portrayed in “Feud.” Despite a lower court ruling with the network, Livvy wants to take the case to the Supreme Court. FX is trying to block her, saying that her case is unworthy of the highest court in the land. Her lawyers think otherwise. “Like the Colorado baker whose First Amendment rights allowed him to refuse to design a cake that expressed a message he did not believe, Miss de Havilland has a right to prevent false words being put into her mouth in a docudrama, just as with any other form of publications.” I hate anyone comparing Olivia to a homophobic baker, but if it gets her in front of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I’ll allow it.
Remember Danny Roberts from “The Real World: New Orleans?” Way back in 2000, he was dating someone in the military whose face was blurred – back then you could be drummed out of the service for being gay. We hadn’t heard much about Danny in recent years – except for an erect nude photo of dubious veracity which you can still find on our website. Roberts recently slipped back into the spotlight via an interview with “Entertainment Weekly”, where he revealed three things: 1) he’s living in NYC, 2) he’s adopted a two-year-old girl, 3) he’s HIV-positive. Apparently he found out his HIV status in 2011 after passing out and waking up in a pool of blood. While he doesn’t go into detail about the passing out or pool of blood, he says this about his status: “The last thing I ever want is pity. I just want people to know and be aware. I knew so little myself so I get it.”
Brace yourselves. It’s time for “Billy’s Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions.” Each week between now and Christmas, I’m going to share items that I think would make great gifts for people on your list – both naughty and nice. To kick things off, we turn to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Each year, this organization releases a special Broadway Legends ornament. In the past, these have all been legendary ladies. This year, BC/EFA kinda breaks with tradition by featuring Harvey Fierstein. Of course, he’s in his “Hairspray” regalia, so he still fits in. Not only is it gorgeous, but it helps raise money for this great charity. You can pick up one (or a dozen) at BroadwayCares.org.
Finally, we hear that Chaka Khan will be the Grand Marshal for the Rose Bowl Parade. She’s even going to be on the float! Of course, I suspect it’ll be hard to tell where the dress ends and the float begins.
When everything’s coming up Chaka, it’s time to end another column. Before we hit New Year’s, we’ve got scads of celebrating to do at www.BillyMasters.com – the site that can stuff more than just your stocking. Send your questions to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before de Havilland says, “Let them eat cake!” Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.