September 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm PST | by Billy Masters
Ryan Murphy ready to take over Netflix

Ryan Murphy’s massive Netflix deal is taking shape.

I’m not on a diet. I’m NEVER on a diet. LOOK AT ME!” — For those of you who didn’t know, Meghan McCain is just fine with her weight.

I’m fascinated by people who dedicate their lives to conversion therapy. It just always strikes me as…I dunno, peculiar. Or, more often than not, just the last part of that word – “liar.” So, color me surprised when I heard that the leader of one of the largest conversion therapy programs came out as…wait for it…GAY! McKrae Game ran “Hope for Wholeness” for almost two decades. Not only is he now admitting to being gay, he also has some choice words for his former vocation.

“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful. Because it’s false advertising.” He may no longer work in the field, but he hasn’t left heterosexuality completely behind. He is, in fact, still married to a woman. BTW, he says she knows he is gay. If she didn’t before, she certainly does now!

Last week, Ryan O’Callaghan, an openly gay former member of the New England Patriots, released his memoir, “My Life on the Line.” One passage has drawn quite a bit of interest: “I can promise you there’s plenty of closeted NFL players. I think it’s safe to say there’s at least one on every team who is either gay or bisexual.”

A week before that book was released, NFL free agent Ryan Russell published an essay on ESPN.com. Here’s the salient passage: “Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly. I want to live my dream of playing the game I’ve worked my whole life to play, and being open about the person I’ve always been.” Apparently that person isn’t gay – he’s bisexual.

Let’s check back in a few months and see how that’s going.

Then there’s Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ben Crosswhite, his “personal trainer” (so that’s what we’re calling it now). It’s been reported that in 2016, Falwell signed documents transferring ownership of an 18-acre fitness facility owned by Liberty University (his very Christian college) to Crosswhite, a recent Liberty graduate. While the purchase price was $1.2 million, the university reduced that by $650K in order to lease the tennis courts back from him through 2025. On top of that, Liberty financed the balance at 3-percent interest. Such favorable terms leave me with one question – exactly what is Crosswhite training? Publicly, Falwell credits Ben for helping him lose 75 pounds. Whatever they were doing, I suspect the word “pound” was employed. It bears mentioning that only a few weeks ago, we revealed that Falwell lent a young pool attendant in Miami almost $2 million to start a youth hostel.

Details of Ryan Murphy’s marriage with Netflix are starting to take shape. There’s a new show called “The Politician” that debuts later this month and stars Ben Platt, Jessica Lange and Gwyneth Paltrow. Speaking of Miss Lange, she will star in a series about the legendary Marlene Dietrich. Ryan also plans lots of Broadway-centric shows, including the just-filmed “The Boys in the Band” starring the entire cast from last year’s Broadway hit, a film version of the Broadway musical “The Prom” starring Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, and a miniseries about “A Chorus Line.” There will be a limited series about designer Halston starring Ewan McGregor, and a docu-series about Andy Warhol. Most tantalizing for me are two projects. One is a series called “Ratched” starring Sarah Paulson in the origin story of the nurse from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Paulson’s real-life love, Holland Taylor, will join Patti LuPone for “Hollywood,” which explores Tinseltown’s relationship with the sex industry. That series will also star Darren Criss, who is an executive producer, and is due to debut next May.

Speaking of Patti LuPone, she is returning to Broadway. I reported it months ago, but it’s now official that she will reprise the role of Joanne in the transfer of the West End production of “Company.” As you’ll recall, that production was notable for swapping the gender of several characters, most notably the lead Bobby, who became Bobbie. While Rosalie Craig led the London cast, Tony winner Katrina Lenk will play Bobbie on Broadway. The show opens on March 22nd, which just happens to be Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. See ya there!

You know where else you might see me? At the upcoming Gay Days Anaheim October 4-6. Way back in 1998, I was part of a scrappy band of people who wore red T-shirts and descended on Disneyland. From those roots, it’s grown into a destination for gay people around the world. You can get more details and tickets at GayDaysAnaheim.com.

This week’s “Ask Billy” question is one many of you had. Karl in Chicago writes, “You said James Van Der Beek will be on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. But hasn’t he already done that show? You ran photos of him dancing.”

Yes and no. While playing a fictionalized version of himself on “Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23”, his character competed on DWTS.

Before closing, I must acknowledge the passing of “Project Runway” alum Chris March. He was one of those people who lit up a room. He was a formidable presence and a big personality to match. Very quick, very catty, and beyond talented – my kinda guy. It’s being reported that he had a massive heart attack at 56. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before the NFL sends rookies to Ben Crosswhite for training (yes, that’s what we’re calling it now). Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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