December 7, 2018 at 2:21 pm PST | by Billy Masters
What do Pence, Pope, Delta and Grindr have in common?

Mike Pence gives $100 million in PrEP funds to fundies as Trump threatens to end medicare coverage of AIDS drugs. Happy World AIDS Day 2018. (Photo White House Twitter feed)

“I thought the stain was going to be bigger. Y’know, it was so low. To me, it was probably he hadn’t pulled up his pants and just hit her with a wet tip!” – Wendy Williams’ take-away from “The Clinton Affair” documentary.

Last week, we commemorated World AIDS Day. In our current political climate, it almost makes sense that the White House would single out Mike Pence to participate in a ceremony. Why, it’s like OJ speaking on domestic abuse. If you don’t believe me, you obviously didn’t listen to what Pence had to say – or, rather, what he didn’t say. He somehow managed to talk for several minutes about HIV without ever uttering the word “gay” or mentioning the LGBT community! But he did manage to squeeze in this little factoid – the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (known as PEPFAR) has $100 million earmarked for religious organizations. Is it just me, or does that sound a tad excessive? I mean, how much does it cost to hand out condoms to priests?

In a related story, Pope Francis made it clear where he stands on gay priests. In the book “The Strength of Vocation,” the Pope says that homosexuality in the church “is something that worries me. For this reason, the Church urges that persons with this rooted tendency not be accepted into ministry or consecrated life.” This includes priests, monks and nuns – all of whom take vows of celibacy. What if you have those tendencies and are already in the church? Franny has some advice for them, too: “It is better that they leave the priesthood or the consecrated life rather than live a double life.”

A Delta Airlines pilot is hoping to keep his job after sending a Grindr message to a passenger. “I see you’re on my flight.  Enjoy the ride to Chicago.” Now, I ask you, in these days of questionable customer service, isn’t that a nice message? Sure “enjoy the ride” on a sex app could be taken a variety of ways, but I’m accepting it as innocuously as I do when a hot flight attendant asks me if I’d like “warm nuts.” Apparently, the recipient of this message was not as blasé as moi. He told the New York Post, “My reaction was I knew I needed to get off this plane as fast as I can.” Again, the phrase “get off” is open to interpretation.

Remember a few weeks ago how we told you that porn star Austin Wolf filmed himself fucking a flight attendant in a Delta lavatory? Well, in-flight sex is running rampant. Diego Barros isn’t actually a porn star – he sells underwear and likes to pose in them (and out of them), too. He was recently on a flight where he was sitting in one of those first-class cubby holes. So, what does one do when alone and bored? Yes, exactly. He filmed himself masturbating. I dunno – I guess it’s scandalous. It’s certainly illegal. And you can see it on

Without further ado, we bring you more of “Billy’s Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions.”  Thom Bierdz has the distinction of not only being the first openly gay actor to appear as a regular on a daytime drama, he also played a character who was openly gay. Of course, neither the actor nor the character started out that way. When Phillip Chancellor III was killed off of “The Young and the Restless” in 1989, Bierdz went into something of a freefall. When his character returned from the dead 20 years later – as soap characters do – it was revealed that he faked his death because he wanted to live openly as a gay man. If you think that sounds bizarre, wait till you read “Young, Gay & Restless.” It’s a gripping story of a handsome young man trying to make it in Hollywood, hitting the heights of daytime drama one day, and then bartending at the Soap Opera Digest Awards the next. While he was being pursued by some of the best-looking men in Hollywood, he was still feeling inadequate about his looks and took some drastic measures to change them. Throw in one brother who committed suicide and another who killed their mother, and you have a story that’s stranger than fiction. By the way, Bierdz is marking his second appearance on our “Gift Giving” list. His previous book about the murder of his mother, “Forgiving Troy,” made our list in 2009. You can get his books – and his artwork – at

The good thing about having lasted so long in this business we call show is that I’ve grown up with many of the people I write about. The acclaimed Thirsty Burlington and I go back a LONG way. Long before I started writing this column, I spent years hosting shows in my native Boston. One of the regulars in attendance was the young Scott Townsend. To have watched Scott transform himself into Thirsty Burlington, one of the world’s premier Cher impersonators, has been a joy for me.  But that was nothing next to the joy I felt watching the film “Thirsty” and seeing how this extraordinary person developed. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.

When I’m still Thirsty for more Burlington, it’s time to end another column. I forgot the worst part of the holidays – peppermint bark. Don’t get me wrong, I love it…a bit too much. So while I am out doing a few extra thousand steps, until next time. And, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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