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Defensive Patton Oswalt apologizes for NYE photos with Dave Chappelle

The New Year’s Eve photos received backlash from some users because of the controversy surrounding Chappelle’s view of trans rights

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Comedian Patton Oswalt via Instagram

SEATTLE – Comedian Patton Oswalt both defended and apologized for posting photos of himself and fellow comedian Dave Chappelle, who was criticized by many in the LGBTQ+ community for transphobic comments in a recent Netflix special. 

Oswalt was in Seattle performing a New Year’s Eve set when he said Chappelle invited him to do a surprise act at his show. He obliged and the two took photos together.

The New Year’s Eve photos, which were posted to Oswalt’s Twitter and Instagram on Saturday, received backlash from some users because of the controversy surrounding Chappelle’s view of trans rights. 

In October, Chappelle was widely condemned for using derogatory language towards the trans community in his most recent Netflix stand-up special “The Closer.” At one point in the special, he even labels himself as a “TERF,” or trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

After a walkout at Netflix, Chappelle said he was willing to meet with trans employees of the streaming giant – as long as they watched his special from “beginning to end,” met at a place and time of Chappelle’s choosing, and admitted that “Hannah Gadsby is not funny.” Gadsby, a Comedian who can also be found on Netflix, criticized “The Closer.” 

“You will not summon me,” he said. 

In response to Oswalt’s post over the weekend, one user wrote: “As a trans person and a fan of your work, this is extremely disappointing.”

Others made similar comments: 

Oswalt addressed fans on Sunday in a lengthy Instagram post accompanied by a photo of him writing on a notepad. 

“I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time this New Year’s Eve,” he wrote. “We’ve known each other since we’re teens. He’s a fellow comedian, the funniest I’ve ever met. I wanted to post a pic & an IG story about it — so I did. The friend is Dave Chappelle. Thirty four YEARS we’ve been friends.”

He went on to defend Chappelle’s character, saying he “refocused and refined ideas a lot of us took as settled about race & history & Life On Planet Earth and spun them around with a phrase or punchline. We’ve done bad & good gigs, open mikes & TV tapings.”

But Oswalt added that he and Chappelle “100% disagree about transgender rights & representation.”

He continued: “I support trans peoples’ rights — ANYONE’S rights — to live safely in the world as their fullest selves. For all the things he’s helped ME evolve on, I’ll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues.” 

“But I also don’t believe a seeker like him is done evolving, learning,” he added. 

Oswalt explained that he has felt guilty for cutting people off in the past, adding, “I’m an LGBTQ ally. I’m a loyal friend.”

“And I’m sorry, truly sorry, that I didn’t consider the hurt this would cause,” he said. 

He also wrote that he “(naively) deleted a lot of posts in the comment thread — critical ones from LGBTQ writers AND shit-posts by TERF/anti-trans orcs looking for clicks & giggles.”

“I wanted a ‘nice comment thread’ about the pic with my friend. Ugh. So easy to think someone ELSE needs growth and miss the need in yourself,” he said. “Gonna keep trying.”

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Thierry Mugler, iconic gay French fashion designer, dies at 73

Often, Mugler’s embrace of gay iconography overshadowed his House of Mugler world-class designs

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Photo Credit: Official Facebook page of Manfred Thierry Mugler

VINCENNES, France – Thierry Mugler, the openly gay, French fashion icon who dressed celebrities from Lady Gaga to Beyoncé, died Sunday at his home in Vincennes, France, outside of Paris. He was 73. 

His death was announced on his Instagram. According to a press release, Mugler died of natural causes. 

“May his soul Rest In Peace,” the post read.

Mugler was a beloved figure in the LGBTQ community who fought extensively for queer rights. Throughout his career, which started in the 1970s, he showcased many trans models, like Connie Fleming, Teri Toye and Roberta Close. 

In one of his more iconic runways, legendary drag artist Lypsinka in his 1992 show at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, wearing three looks excluded the Mugler’s trademark high-camp. 

Often, Mugler’s embrace of gay iconography overshadowed his world-class designs. 

“The outwardness of designers embracing being gay wasn’t then a thing,” Paul Cavaco, the fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar during Mugler’s heyday, told the New York Times. “People knew but you didn’t really talk about it. It was considered not chic. And here he was sending drag queens like Lypsinka down the runway.”

Cavaco added that even at Harper’s Bazaar, one of the most adventurous American fashion magazines at the time, Mugler’s clothes were passed over.

Still, Mugler dressed some of the world’s top supermodels and most famous celebrities in his broad-shouldered and sharp-tailored designs during his career.

In George Michael’s 1992 “Too Funky” video, Linda Evangelista, one of the most accomplished and influential models of all time, donned a Mugler design, as many did in the video. He also created flamboyant and theatrical looks for musical stars like Diana Ross, David Bowie and George Michael.

Part of what set Mugler apart from other designers of his time was his unique view of what fashion should be. 

“I don’t believe in natural fashion,” he told the Times in 1994. “Let’s go for it! The corset. The push-up bra. Everything! If we do it, let’s do the whole number.”

The House of Mugler, his brand, described the famous designer as a “visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and image-maker empowered people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger everyday,” in a LinkedIn post

Though he retired from fashion in the early 2000s, Mugler has still left his mark on the current fashion landscape. Some of today’s biggest celebrities – including Katy Perry, Rihanna and Cardi B – have worn iconic Mugler garments. 

In 2009, Beyoncé wore a Harley-Davidson corset designed by Mugler for a George Michael video. Lady Gaga donned a famous suit-dress and hat from Mugler’s 1995 collection in her 2010 music video for “Telephone.”

Mugler even briefly resurfaced in 2019 to create Kim Kardashian West’s infamous “wet look” at the Met Gala. 

Heartfelt messages from celebrities that Mugler has worked with poured in on social media and beyond after the news of his death broke. 


On her website, Beyoncé wrote: “Rest In Peace, Thierry Mugler.”

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Dodger Stadium to host wedding for team VP Erik Braverman & his fiancé

Braverman is marrying software engineer and photographer Jonathan Cottrell Friday in “one of the most iconic venues in all of sports”

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Photo courtesy of Erik Braverman and Jonathan Cottrell

UPDATED: See video below from KTLA 5 News

LOS ANGELES – The biggest homestand of his life awaits Los Angeles Dodgers’ senior vice president for marketing, communications & broadcasting, Erik Braverman. On Friday, he will marry his fiancé, Jonathan Cottrell, where he works: Dodger Stadium. 

“I am grateful to the Dodgers for allowing this to happen,” Braverman, 51, told the Los Angeles Blade.

Of course, the Dodgers organization has built a reputation as host of the most well-attended Pride events in all of professional sports for several years. The team hosted the first “Gay Night” in pro sports back in 2000 and continue to celebrate its LGBTQ fans year after year. 

As L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke first reported, Braverman will enter the baseball diamond from the home dugout on Friday and Cottrell will walk the aisle from the visitors’ dugout. They will meet and exchange vows on the pitcher’s mound.  

It’s a dream come true for the baseball executive, but it wasn’t always so. Four years ago, Braverman told the Blade: “My dream wedding would be something small surrounded by a few friends and family… in Hawaii or somewhere tropical.” 

Somewhere tropical is ultimately, after all, where Braverman found the love of his life, three years ago. 

“We met in a swimming pool in Mexico, both visiting Puerto Vallarta at the same time,” Cottrell told the Blade. “We happened to head to the same beach club and struck up a conversation while sipping on pina coladas. The chemistry was almost instant.”

So, what changed from 2019 (besides COVID-19 and the pandemic, of course)? 

“At the time of the interview, the idea of being married at one of the most iconic venues in all of sports didn’t even cross my mind,” Braverman told the Blade. “After Jonathan accepted my proposal and Dodger Stadium became a possibility as a venue, the idea seemed perfect to both of us for so many reasons.”

As the Blade reported last August, Braverman popped the question on one knee at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Not in Paris, but in Las Vegas. 

Jonathan Cottrell and Erik Braverman  (Photo via Erik Braverman Facebook)

“I thought it was the right time to pop the question,” said Braverman. “And given that Jonathan is from France, I thought it would be a cute and romantic idea that I thought I could pull off despite the pandemic. We are planning a honeymoon in Tahiti as soon as that becomes a possibility.”

Not much is known about Cottrell, other than he’s 31, works as a WeHo software engineer, and is also a photographer and model. So, the Blade asked him to tell us a little about himself. 

“My father is from New York and my mother is French,” Cottrell said. “My first language is French, though I did eventually grow up bilingual. My parents were missionaries and humanitarians, (and grandparents as well before them!). I spent most of my childhood in Cambodia, but lived all over the world: Haiti, Thailand, Laos, Uganda. I studied at McGill University in Montreal, earning my degree in Physics and Computer Science, number one in my class. I worked as a Software Engineer for Google for many years before diving into the tech startup world. I’ve explored photography and modeling in my spare time. I may be an engineer by training, but I’m an artist at heart.”

But is he a fan of the Dodgers?  

“I am absolutely a Dodgers fan, but to be candid, when I met Erik and he told me he worked for the Dodgers, my response was ‘That’s baseball, right?’ Being from France, I’ve had very little exposure to baseball. But my knowledge and appreciation grows every season! And I was lucky enough to be there in person when we won the World Series in 2020!”

Baseball is most definitely the theme of their wedding: Invitations sent to about 80 relatives and friends resemble a ticket stub. No doubt, there will be happy tears on Friday, despite that line from “A League of Their Own” about there being “no crying in baseball.” And the wedding ceremony will end with the sounds of the Dodgers’ unofficial anthem, Randy Newman’s classic “I Love L.A.”

The love Braverman and Cottrell have received since announcing their engagement has been overwhelming, they told the Blade: “The outpouring of support has been phenomenal,” they said in an email. “One thing we did not anticipate was how many people who are in situations where they can’t be their authentic selves are feeling encouraged and inspired by our story. We are both active on social media and welcome anyone who would like to reach out.” They asked us to share their handles on Instagram with readers: @erik_braverman and @modelcottrell”

What’s next for the happy couple after getting hitched and, eventually, a honeymoon? Do they see themselves raising pitchers and catchers of their own, perhaps? 

“Yes, starting a family is certainly in the cards,” Cottrell said. “In fact, I suspect that will be happening sooner rather than later.”

********************

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André Leon Talley, iconic Black fashion journalist & editor dies at 73

Talley worked at Vogue during an unprecedented time of growth in the fashion industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s

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Andre Leon Talley being interviewed in the 1990's (Screenshot via YouTube)

WHITE PLAINS, Ny. – André Leon Talley, a formidable iconic fashion journalist and the former creative director and one-time editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, passed away at age 73 of unspecified causes at a hospital in White Plains, an inner suburb of New York City in Westchester County, New York.

News of the famed fashion journalist’s death Tuesday was first reported by celebrity news and gossip site TMZ.

Talley was known for his close friendships with designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, singer/actress Jennifer Hudson and Vogue magazine editor in chief Anna Wintour among others.

Talley worked at Vogue during an unprecedented time of growth in the fashion industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s. From 1983 until late 1987, he was the magazine’s the news director and was then promoted to Vogue’s creative director in 1988, a post he held until 1995. He later came back to the magazine in 1998 as the editor-at-large until his departure in 2013.

Born in Washington D.C. on October 16, 1948 and raised in North Carolina, Talley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature in 1970 from North Carolina Central University. He later attended Brown University, after he was awarded a scholarship, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in French Literature in 1972.

Talley’s early career as a journalist saw him working at Andy Warhol’s Factory and Interview magazine. He later became the Paris bureau chief for Women’s Wear Daily.

His later career saw Talley hosting his own radio show principally concerned with fashion and pop culture on Sirius XM. He also released a book The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir on May 19, 2020, which detailed his early career start and some of the issues he encountered as a Black man.

Talley was also an LGBTQ+ icon. When asked about his sexual orientation by daytime chat show host Wendy Williams during a May 29, 2018 appearance, he stated, “No, I’m not heterosexual; I’m saying I’m fluid in my sexuality, darling.”

Andre Leon Talley, Fashion’s Godfather | Fashion Icon Profile:

VideoFashion profile in 2020 marking of the release of Andre Leon Talley’s memoir, “THE CHIFFON TRENCHES.”

Andre Leon Talley | Full Address | Oxford Union:

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