Friday, March 28, 2008

We Have Moved!

cineQUEER has a new home!

Please get the latest and greatest queer entertainment news by clicking here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ryan Phillippe Doesn’t Give Jay a ‘Gay Look’

UPDATE, 3/25: Avenue Q creator Jeff Whitty goes Round Two with Leno.

Jay Leno left viewers of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and guest Ryan Phillippe scratching their heads on Wednesday, March 19, when he tried to goad Phillippe into turning to the camera and giving his “gayest look.”

The unfortunate request came because Phillippe, on the show to promote his new film Stop-Loss, got his acting break playing a gay character on the daytime soap One Life to Live. The role was daytime’s first gay teen character and put the actor on the map. But instead of applauding the groundbreaking storyline, Leno instead began to riff on the sexuality of the character, asking Phillippe to reenact his work on the soap by giving his “gayest look” to the camera. Phillippe tried to laugh it off, deflecting the jokes with integrity, but Leno persisted, ribbing him about appearing nude in an Armani ad directed by out photographer David LaChappelle. Visibly upset, the actor stood up and half-jokingly threatened to leave but stayed for the rest of the interview.

View the interview here:

Leno has long walked the fine line between providing LGBT visibility while offering up gay jabs and punch lines. With Leno’s latest rant, we would start counting down the days until he’s replaced by Conan O’Brien -- if only we could be certain that O’Brien’s frat boy humor would be an improvement.

Write Leno Here

Gossip Girl ups its inclusivity

Michael Ausiello (over at has a huge scoop! Looks like the CW's Gossip Girl will soon have more gay representation than just Blair's infrequently appearing gay father... In the April 21 return of the show, a male character will be revealed as gay!

Ausiello's clues include the following:
- The revelation significantly impacts the lives of at least three people.
- The aftershocks will be felt on both sides of the East River.
- Some viewers will be surprised by the twist, others not so much.
- In the Gossip Girl novels, Dan was known to be a bit of a switch-hitter, a fact which may or may not be relevant.

Early online speculation seems focused around Serena's brother, Eric (seen at right). If true, it would not be the first gay role for the actor, Connor Paolo, who played a young Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone's Alexander.

Tune in on April 21 to find out who it is!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Social Activism Fellowship

Do you have a demonstrated commitment to social justice and an interest in documentary filmmaking and new technology? Working Films is looking for you! Apply for the George Stoney Fellowship by March 31, and you could assist in conceptualization, writing and research for Working Films campaigns. Regular responsibilities include sitting in as a colleague in all development meetings between filmmakers, activists and other Working Films staff, and traveling when necessary to rough-cut screenings and community organizing meetings.

Working Films has a solid track record of linking social interest documentary films with activist outreach, including supporting a discussion tour of Sandi Simcha DuBowski's Trembling Before G-d, the story of gay and lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews grappling with the intersection of their sexual identity and their faith.

The fellowship is expected to last 8-10 weeks in the Wilmington, NC office, starting in May or June 2008. The Fellow will serve as part-time, temporary staff, earning $10-15 an hour. For more information, visit

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

R.E.M. Frontman Michael Stipe Comes Out

In an interview found in the current issue of Spin magazine, R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe came out. Though he had been open about his sexuality with his family and his band for nearly three decades, Stipe had been reluctant to publicly come out, telling Spin that he "didn't always see" how coming out could help others.

"Now I recognize that to have public figures be very open about their sexuality helps some kid somewhere out there," he says.

Stipe first hinted at his sexuality in a 1991 interview with Time magazine, in which he described himself as a "queer artist," but had not officially discussed his orientation, telling Spin, "I thought it was pretty obvious."

The Spin interview hits newsstands today. R.E.M. releases their 14th studio album, Accelerate, on April 1.

Thurs: Make Me a Supermodel

Make Me a Supermodel is a must watch this week. Openly gay model Ronnie is in the bottom two -- will he get voted off? And in a guest appearance, Project Runway 4 winner Christian Siriano gives the remaining contestants catwalk lessons!

Tune into Bravo at 10 PM this Thursday for the next episode of the show that the folks over at Outzone (among others) are highlighting as one of the gayest offerings on television!

19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards: NEW YORK!

Last night, the good people of New York were treated to a star-studded event at the Marriot Marquis. The 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards honored so many deserving media professionals, like MTV President Brian Graden, journalist Barbara Walters, the boys from As the World Turns (Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann, pictured) and many many more. For a complete list of recipients, please click here, and be sure to check out ticket information for upcoming galas in South Florida (April 12), Los Angeles (April 26) and San Francisco (May 10). See you there!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Out HBO president steps down

Carolyn Strauss, HBO's out entertainment president, confirmed on Sunday with The Hollywood Reporter that she was stepping down. Strauss, a 22 year HBO veteran, is expected to continue at the premium cable network in some capacity, but the details of her new position have yet to be determined.

According to the Reporter, Strauss is an "unassuming and press-shy executive with a solid reputation in the creative community." Under her direction, Strauss ushered in many hit LGBT-inclusive programs, including Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, The Wire and Entourage.

Her successor has yet to be announced.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Judge David Young will be presenting at the South Florida GLAAD Media Awards on April 12th.  

He recently did a Q & A with Ramon Johnson over at the Gay Life section of, offering insight into his experience of the courtroom -- plus his tip on how he's managed a 13-year relationship with his partner!  Enjoy the interview excerpt below, then head over to for the full text.


You’re an openly gay judge on national television. What does that mean to you?

     Having a voice and being a role model for GLBT youth and their parents is crucial. It’s the only way we’re going to demystify the stereotype that we’re all a bunch of leather queens or that we ride in gay pride floats wearing boas with our rear ends sticking out. Some of us do that and God bless them for doing it, but there are others of us who are lawyers and doctors and hold positions of power in all spheres of government and business.

     I think it’s a wonderful opportunity if GLBT kids can watch me on a daily basis and say, “Hey I can do this. I will do this. Look at Judge David. His sexual orientation has never been an obstacle for him.”  We need role models. Anything is possible if you work hard for it. One’s sexual orientation should not be an impediment to success.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The CW's First Gay Geek!

Last night, on the Season Five premiere of The CW's reality competition series, Beauty and the Geek, viewers were introduced to Greg, a self-proclaimed "Gaysian" who was upfront about his orientation with the cast from the very beginning.

This is Beauty and the Geek's first gay geek, which isn't too surprising, as past seasons of Geek have been about pairing beauties with geeks in (potentially) romantic couples. However, Season Five has a twist, in which the gorgeous, dim-witted gals will compete against the nerdy smart guys. It's men vs. women, and the winner is anyone's guess.

The CW has a strong track record of including LGBT people in its reality series (Think America's Next Top Model and The Pussycat Dolls: Girlicious) so we're happy to see that the opportunity to include a gay contestant on yet another unscripted show was not missed.

Of course, the girls immediately take to the sweet-natured Greg, affectionately calling him "Greggy" and letting him sleep in their rooms. In a tender scene, Greg opens up to Leticia and Cara. He begins crying as he wails, "I don't know if I'm, like, geeky enough to be a geek. All the other geeks are, like, so smart, and I'm, like, the artistic gay guy."

Clearly moved, Cara, an aspiring soap star, tells the camera, "He's not just a gay guy and he's not just a geek. He's Greggy, and he should be proud of who he is."

Ne'er a truer word spoken, Cara.

Greggy just may have the win in the bag. "Geeky enough" or not, Greg certainly was smart enough to befriend the ladies right off the bat. After all, it's the girls who decide which of the geeks will be eliminated, and unless he really fouls up, Greg's not going anywhere.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Logo Produces Hate Crimes PSA

The folks over at Logo have brought together a wide range of talents - including Ashanti, Andre 3000, Sara Bareilles, Janet Jackson, T.R. Knight and Portia de Rossi - to speak out against hate crimes in a new public service announcement. The PSA was produced in the wake of the murder of 15-year-old Lawrence King, a gay teen in Oxnard, California, by fellow student Brandon McInerney, who is being charged with a hate crime. MTV Networks will be carrying the PSA, its latest contribution in a long history of hate crime education (did you know that back in January 2001, MTV replaced 18 hours of programming with nothing but names and stories of hate crime victims?).

You can view the ad now by clicking here.


Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of checking out a new documentary called Girls Rock! Though it was not new information to me that girls did indeed rock, the subject matter was certainly intriguing.

Two male filmmakers, Arne Johnson and Shane King, spent a week in Oregon at the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, a place where young women ages 8 - 18 gather to learn not only how to play music and write songs with fellow campers, but also take self-defense classes, talk about overcoming negative body image, and other very cool self-esteem-building activities.

Founded in 2001, the camp has grown from a tiny day camp held on the Portland State University Campus to a four-session behemoth with its own facilities and wait-listed attendance. All adult mentors attend the camp on a volunteer basis and work day and night to ensure the campers get the best week possible.

Girls Rock! follows four campers' first Rock Camp experience. Palace (pictured) is 7 years old and has an excellent scream of a voice. Amelia, 8, is a creative genius who doesn't shy away from noise rock. Laura, 15, is a free spirited young woman who vacillates between loving and hating herself -- and ultimately gives an incredible end-of-week performance. And Misty, 17, has overcome battles with drug addiction and eating disorders to learn the bass and feel comfortable up on stage.

The film features interviews with a ton of musicians, notably out rockers Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) and Beth Ditto (The Gossip).

Girls Rock! is making its very limited nationwide tour. For cities and dates, please click here and support independent filmmaking!


The end has come for the women of The L Word. Showtime has announced it will renew one of its longest-running dramas for what will be its sixth and final season. Set in Los Angeles, the series follows a group of lesbian and bisexual women as they navigate romance, friendships, family and careers.

"The L Word has been a truly groundbreaking series, setting new standards for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender visibility on television through its portrayal of a unique and compelling group of women," says GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "We applaud the cast and creative team for the sense of fun and drama that they bring every season in their depictions of both the day-to-day lives of LGBT people and the challenges and struggles faced by our community."

"It has been a privilege to do this series and tell these stories and have these characters in my life and to share them with the show's passionate fans," Ilene Chaiken, creator and executive producer of The L Word said in a statement. "I am thrilled that Showtime has given us this final opportunity to conclude this journey we have all taken together."

Chaiken is being honored at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco on May 10 with the Davidson/Valentini Award, an honor given to an openly gay media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community.

Hot on the heels of Showtime's hit gay series Queer as Folk, the network debuted The L Word in 2004, making it primetime's first lesbian drama on television. It has garnered four GLAAD Media Award nominations and one win, for Outstanding Television Drama. Showtime has ordered eight final episodes, set to go into production in early summer for a 2009 premiere.

The Season Five finale airs March 23, 2008 at 9 PM ET/PT on Showtime.

Friday, March 7, 2008


From March 14 to 27, the Paley Center for Media will be presenting its 25th Anniversary PALEYFEST at the Cinerama Dome of the ArcLight in Hollywood, California. Events will include panels on Mad Men and GLAAD Media Award-nominated Dirty Sexy Money; a Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion (the actresses playing Tara and Willow, seen at right, will both be there! Will anyone talk about the comic book?); and an appearance by out choreographer Bruno Tonioli in a panel devoted to Dancing with the Stars. There will also be a Pushing Daisies panel, where perhaps an audience member can inquire about the mystery gay character! Maybe another audience member can inquire at the Gossip Girl panel about future on-screen appearances by Blair’s gay dad...

Find all details about PALEYFEST here:

Scroll down to our previous blog posting for details on other LGBT-inclusive Spring programs from the Paley Center

Road to the Media Awards: Sarah Silverman, GREEK, and Kyle XY

Spring programs at the Paley Center have been announced, and GLAAD Media Award nominees are among those featured!

The cast and creative team behind GLAAD Media Award-nominated
The Sarah Silverman Program (Outstanding Comedy Series) will be on hand to discuss the show April 21 at 7 PM. For details, click here.

GLAAD Media Award-nominated programs GREEK
 (Outstanding Drama Series) and Kyle XY (Outstanding Individual Episode in a series w/o a regular LGBT character) will also get their own dedicated panels. Hear the cast and creators of GREEK at 7 PM on April 28 and the cast and writers of Kyle XY at 7 PM on April 7. For details on either of those two events, click here.

Tickets may be purchased in series subscription packets for a pre-selected grouping of three events (for instance,
The Sarah Silverman Program is featured in a comedy series which also includes events for George Carlin and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) for $65 starting March 8 at noon, or tickets to individual events may be purchased for $25 starting March 14 at noon. If you are a member (or choose to become a member!) of the Paley Center, you will get a reduction in ticket cost and will be able to access tickets earlier than the general public.

Once tickets go on sale, you can obtain them by visiting or by calling 310.786.1091 from 12:00 to 5:00 pm daily. Tickets will also be available at the front desk, Weds to Sun, 12:00 to 5:00 pm. The Paley Center for Media is located in Los Angeles, at 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kenneth Cole launches new inclusive campaign

To mark the 25th anniversary of designing hip, wearable fashion for the masses, Kenneth Cole is launching a new ad campaign, "We All Walk in Different Shoes."

Departing from the typical use of professional models, Cole selected "bold, unexpected people of substance," according to a release.

One of the ads features Joanna and Nicoletta Tessler, a gay married couple, with their daughter, Ruthie (right). Another subject is Patrick Sammon, the President of Log Cabin Republicans (left).

Complete images of the campaign, as well as biographies and interviews with each image's subject, can be found on the official web site of Kenneth Cole.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Women of ABC Unite!

It's Women's History Month, which means it's time to celebrate the women whose accomplishments and efforts make a positive impact on each of our lives.

Six actresses from the most LGBT-inclusive network -- ABC -- recorded a PSA together as part of our "Be an Ally & a Friend" campaign. In the spot, they urge viewers to accept and love their friends and family members, regardless of their orientation or gender identity.

The stars appearing in the spot are as follows (listed in order of appearance): Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty), Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters), Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin (Dancing with the Stars), Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Kate Walsh (Private Practice) and Sara Ramirez (Grey's Anatomy). Check it out!

If you live in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, or New Haven, CT, this PSA will be airing on your local ABC affiliate! Keep your eyes peeled!

We are very proud of all the straight allies who participated in GLAAD's PSA campaign, taking a stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people everywhere.

How do you say "amazing" in Spanish?

The always lovely and talented Sara Ramirez (Grey's Anatomy) has recorded a new PSA in Spanish as part of GLAAD's ongoing "Be an Ally & a Friend" campaign. The spot has already appeared on, the largest internet access provider in Spain and Latin America, and will make its debut next week on mun2 television, Telemundo's very popular music and pop culture network.

Don't speak Spanish? Here's a translation:

"Hi, I’m Sara Ramirez. Discrimination and intolerance affect our families. What happens when that discrimination is against a brother, sister, niece, mother, or uncle who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender … Would you accept it? For a more inclusive world say ‘no’ to stereotypes and discrimination. For more information, please visit the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation:"

Monday, March 3, 2008

Inclusive Dance Show Debuts

On Friday night's series premiere of Your Mama Don't Dance, we were introduced to the father/daughter teams. One of these teams featured professional dancer Celia paired with her openly gay father Silvano. Though they didn't get the lowest score, they ended up in the "drop zone," with their future to be decided by viewers at home.

To help keep them in the competition, cast your vote at
Lifetime's website. Ten votes are allowed per person, and voting ends at 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday night. Tune in on Friday night to see if Silvano and Celia make the cut, and to meet the mother/son teams (including out contestants Dante and Jonathan!).

For more information about the show, read GLAAD's Eye on the Media piece
here, or visit the show's website here. Catch the clip below for Silvano's "behind the scenes" interview!

Only Four Hours of Splashley Remain!

Confession time: I am a straight 30-year-old woman, and the sapphic teen soap South of Nowhere is one of my all-time favorite shows. When The N is running new episodes, I am running to my TV every Friday to check in with Spencer and Ashley and the latest trials and tribulations of their rocky romance.

That's why it saddens me to learn that the series has not been renewed for a fourth season.

South of Nowhere was a breakout hit for The N when it debuted in 2005, consistently boasting ratings nearly equal to the network's juggernaut Degrassi: The Next Generation. The drama's first two seasons were nominated for GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Television Drama, which is remarkable, as the "little drama that could" was battling for attention with the likes of ABC's Brothers & Sisters and Showtime's The L Word.

Though our beloved Splashley will sorely be missed, lucky for us, The N will be wrapping up their story in the series' eight final episodes, slated to air April 11, 2008.

Not good enough for you? Let your fingers do the talking and join the folks over at and let your voice be heard!

Friday, February 29, 2008

QFR interviews Yvonne Welbon recently held a Q & A with Yvonne Welbon, an African American lesbian filmmaker whose work includes the documentary Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis @ 100. Ruth Ellis, the oldest living African American lesbian at the time, was an activist who agreed to be the subject of Welbon’s film because, in her words: "People who don't like gays and lesbians don't know us. I want to show them that we are just like everybody else." The 1999 film is available for order online ($35 plus s/h).
To read the transcript of the interview, which includes Welbon’s list of her favorite queer films, click here:

Thursday, February 28, 2008


A beautiful young transwoman made the impossible possible last night by bringing together two of my faves into one magical TV hour: Oprah and America's Next Top Model.

But how?
you ask.

The answer is: Angelika.

Angelika was a featured guest on the GLAAD Media Award-nominated episode of Oprah entitled "Born in the Wrong Body." In the hour, she candidly talks about her difficult childhood and confidently tells Oprah about how her life has changed for the better since her transition.

Last night's episode of Top Model involved a fashion shoot designed to highlight the problems facing homeless youth. The model hopefuls had to pose among young girls who have faced homelessness. And who should I spy, but the gorgeous Angelika, looking like a model herself!

Check her out in the picture above: she's the one on the far right, looking so totally fierce and definitely out-posing the girl we're supposed to look at.

Cycle 11 should be casting soon, Angie. How 'bout giving Top Model a try?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Freeheld Wins Oscar!

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) congratulates director-producer Cynthia Wade and producer Vanessa Roth on their Oscar® win for the short documentary, Freeheld. The award was presented this evening at the 80th Annual Academy Awards®, held at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

Freeheld documents the 2006 struggle of New Jersey Detective Lt. Laurel Hester in her effort to transfer her pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree, in the months leading up to Hester's death. With less than six months to live as cancer spread to her brain, Hester battled the Ocean County Freeholders, the locally elected officials, to give to Stacie the security for her partner that married couples receive automatically. The film captures both the very public and urgent dispute with the Freeholders, as well as the couple’s intensely private struggle as they come to terms with Hester's terminal illness.

"Freeheld is such a poignant and powerful documentary, and we are proud to count Cynthia as a strong ally to the gay community," says GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "We are so thankful the film – and Laurel Hester's memory – have been honored tonight with a prestigious and well-deserved Academy Award®."

Monday, February 18, 2008


The Bay Area Reporter gave a great Valentine's gift to its readers by recapping the love story of Luke and Noah — or "Nuke" as As the World Turns fans know the couple.

Supercouple is more like it, a brand designation reserved for soap pairings that have viewers rooting for more. Ratings for the 52-year-old soap have even turned around with new viewers tuning in to see Nuke (or checking them out on YouTube). The inclusive storyline garnered As the World Turns its second GLAAD Media Award nomination in as many years.

Of course, the road to being a supercouple is riddled with potholes, detours and roadblocks, and Nuke is no different. The couple is the first gay male relationship portrayed on daytime and they are the first to share an onscreen kiss. The duo locked lips for the cameras twice in 2007, and have had other kisses which have been implied but not shown, infuriating some fans who are demanding Nuke be treated the same as other couples in the fictional city of Oakdale.

Networks know their daytime audience is predominantly female and they have always geared their stories to this demo, staying away from gay male romances. With Nuke, CBS and As the World Turns have expanded the kind of stories daytime can tell and they've expanded their audience, but along with this may be some growing pains. Viewers want to see this couple portrayed as realistically as all other couples are on daytime, and that's a good thing. Problem is, getting the show to catch up with what viewers are begging and ready for.

The daytime genre is six decades old and it's taken this long to feature a male couple. All My Children broke new ground last year with daytime's first transgender story, also garnering it a GLAAD Media Award nomination. While tremendous strides have been made in the past year alone on soaps, it's clear that we're not at a place where LGBT people are treated the same on daytime as they are on primetime or cable.

But the needle continues to move ever so slightly.

Knight Rider Inclusive!

Having grown up watching the original Knight Rider (and having my own KITT Matchbox car!), I was excited to catch the new 2-hour update of the series from NBC, if only for nostalgia and kitsch value. While some of the pacing was reminiscent of the original (Mission: Impossible it ain't), a welcome twist occurred during the opening title sequence for the tele-film. As the various characters are established, we see young Michael Knight (Justin Bruening) in bed with two young ladies in Vegas. While at a beach house we see a surf diva get ready for work as an FBI special ops agent, saying goodbye to a young lady she's leaving behind in her bed. This isn't the '80s Knight Rider!

34-year-old actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier — the biracial daughter of Oscar winning actor Sidney Poitier and Joanna Shimkus — plays FBI agent Carrie Ruvai. If Knight Rider returns as a series, it will be interesting to see if the character continues to be lesbian or bisexual, or if this plot point is conveniently overlooked to create future sexual tension between Carrie and Michael.

For years, I've said how refreshingly inclusive it would be if just one of the crimefighters on a network procedural show like Law & Order and CSI was also gay. HBO's The Wire figured it out long ago. Now NBC has a chance to show just how inclusive it can be: If Knight Rider becomes a series, its Agent Ruvai may be the only queer leading lady of color on scripted network television. And as points out, if Cashmere Mafia doesn't return next season, she may be the only LGBT leading lady on network TV.

BB9 Gay Showmance Kaput

The relationship between Neil and Joshuah, brought together as "soul mates" on the new season of Big Brother 9, appears to have ended shortly after it began. Our friend Brian Juergens has been tracking the show for and reports that viewers of the live feed saw an emotional goodbye from Neil (left), who had to leave the show mysteriously only a week into the game. An edited explanation of this will likely air on CBS this week. Since this season the "soul mates" are playing as a team, that might have spelled the end of Joshuah (right) as well, but Big Brother saved the contestant by allowing him to pick someone who was voted off to bring back as his new partner. Exiled contestant Sharon isn't exactly "soul mate" material but as it turns out, there are currently four pairings on the show where romance definitely isn't happening.

Elsewhere...ABC has picked up a new comedy pilot project from Warner Bros. TV and David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the folks behind Will & Grace. Thus far untitled, the project is about two business partners - one straight and one gay - who both find their significant others around the same time and attempt to balance work and love.

BBC America's Hotel Babylon, the gay-inclusive drama series about an exclusive hotel and the staff who gives guests whatever they want, is back for season three starting March 12. Paula Abdul makes a guest starring appearance in the season opener. BBC America will also release season one of Hotel Babylon on DVD February 26.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ROAD TO THE MEDIA AWARDS: Rufus Wainwright announced the winners of its Gay People’s Choice Awards this week, and Rufus Wainwright got the nod for favorite male musical artist.

It is par for the course for this outstanding performer, whose albums have all been nominated for GLAAD Media Awards, and who will be honored with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards on April 26.

Congratulations, Rufus!


Before interviewing Janet Jackson, allowed its readers to suggest questions to ask the star. Among the top five selected was a question about what it means to her to receive the Vanguard Award at the upcoming 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 26.

Her response: “Oh my God, so much to me. It really does.” She continued on to say she “felt so honored” to find out she had been selected, and also acknowledged the gay community as being “so, so supportive.”

Visit here for the full Q & A.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gay Films Highlight Sedona Fest

The magical setting of Sedona, Arizona will play host to the 14th annual Sedona International Film Festival taking place February 27-March 2. The fest will feature the following three films with gay themes, including writer/director Stewart Wade's (Coffee Date) new film Tru Loved, starring Alexandra Paul, Jasmine Guy, Bruce Vilanch, Alec Mapa and Jane Lynch.

(USA, 2007 — 73 min.) — Documentary
Director: Vince DiPersio
The story of gay Marine Jeff Key, a spiritual kid, who passionately loved his church and struggled desperately with the secret he carried in his heart—a secret his pastor refers to as an 'abomination.' Semper Fi is the story of how after the terrible events of 9/11—knowing he could get out by telling his superiors who he really was—he decided to go to war for the country he loved. And how, once in Iraq, his patriot's heart was broken by what he saw. Back home and broken-hearted, Jeff used his war journals to create a one-man show with which he travels the country--a play that never flinches from what it meant to be gay and at war.

Screening Times: Thursday, Feb. 28, 6:50 PM; Saturday, March 1, 1:40 PM

(USA, 2008 — 99 min.) — Feature
Director: Stewart Wade
Tru (Najarra Townsend), a high school student from San Francisco, is uprooted by her lesbian moms (Alexandra Paul and Cynda Williams) and moved to a conservative suburb. Her non-traditional family makes her an outsider until high school quarterback Lodell takes an interest in her. Lodell is closeted. Tru becomes a friend with whom he can be himself, unlike with his mom (Jasmine Guy), grandmother (Nichelle Nichols), and closest pals. When Tru hears the closed-minded comments about homosexuality from Lodell’s friends, she establishes the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance. She meets Trevor (Jake Abel), a smart and charming young man being raised by his gay uncle (Bruce Vilanch). Tru begins a romance and fights for social justice as her unconventional family faces familiar struggles.

Screening Times: Thursday, Feb. 28, 4:25 PM; Saturday, March 1, 2:30 PM

(USA, 2007 — 78 min.) — Documentary
Director: Gwendolen Cates
A compelling and intimate portrait of Jock Soto, one of the most recognized and influential modern ballet dancers. Soto, who is Navajo, Puerto Rican and gay, retired in June 2005 from the New York City Ballet after a 24-year career of physically demanding excellence with the company. The film becomes a journey of discovery that will captivate us and endear us to this complex man. Soto is an artist who found his media of expression in dance, but this is not a film solely for a ballet audience. His fascinating and unique story, climaxing with his emotional retirement from ballet at age 40, is accessible to a broad audience. Soto's relationship to his heritage defies stereotypes in the same way that his dancing transcends the expected.

Screening Times: Friday, Feb. 29, 11:30 AM; Saturday, March 1, 9:00 AM

American Idol's Out Leo Out For Good

Leo Marlowe wowed the American Idol judges during the open call in Omaha to become the show's first openly gay contestant. Unfortunately, his luck wore off during tonight's Hollywood round. The 23-year-old from Charlotte, Iowa, performed Bryan Adams' "I Do It For You," a ballad that failed to impress.

"You just went from memorable to forgettable all in the space of thirty seconds, because that's precisely what we're not looking for," Simon told a disappointed Leo who was cut when the contestants were narrowed down to the Top 50.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lifetime Looking for Longtime Couples

Producers for a new television show being produced for Lifetime are "looking for loving couples, in the New York tri-state area, to retell the story of how they first met and fell in love!"

According to the casting notice, interested participants must be 30 to 100 years old, with good personalities and great storytelling ability, and have been living together for a minimum of 7 years.

Take this chance to share your story and respond immediately to:

Sunday, February 10, 2008


With the Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards just around the corner on April 26, special honoree Janet Jackson appears on the cover of this week's Parade magazine.

Okay, she also has a new CD, Discipline, out on Feb. 24.'s Jenny Stewart just chatted with Ms. Jackson and will soon have some scoop for us about the new album, her gay fans -- and what Janet thinks of her honor from GLAAD.

The Assimilationists: From Guess Who's Coming to Dinner to Will & Grace

Sony's new Stanley Kramer Film Collection -- containing five films that he produced, two of which he also directed -- is examined by Dennis Liff in today's Los Angeles Times.

The filmmaker is best remembered for tackling important social issues, but Liff asserts that the Kramer-directed Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is condescending today.

Guess (which had its own 40th anniversary DVD release last year) is often mentioned alongside Brokeback Mountain as being a parallel social-justice film: Guess reflected the civil rights movement in 1967 as Brokeback reflected the gay rights movement in 2006.
"This self-important drawing-room comedy, in which a young white woman brings home Sidney Poitier to her chagrined liberal parents, has its adherents, but it seems more quaint and condescending with each passing year," writes Liff. "Kramer has said that the saintliness of Poitier's character -- a noble, well-off, multiply credentialed doctor -- was an attempt to undermine existing stereotypes. But he inadvertently created a new one: the model assimilationist hero, the non-threatening black character who set the benchmark for on-screen minorities for decades."
"Poitier's character is less a human being than a catalog of positive traits, and the film's genteel San Francisco setting, not to mention the terms of its to-marry-or-not discussions, are remarkably untouched by the fury and urgency of the period's civil rights struggle. In that light, the problem with Kramer's films wasn't that they constantly referred to social issues -- it's that they all too often retreated from the messier realities of those issues."
After years of being represented as cartoon stereotypes in TV and film, gay characters began to take their own "assimilationist hero" route in the '90s with shows like Melrose Place, Ellen and Will & Grace. These programs moved gay characters into the mainstream but also created the new stereotype of the non-threatening white yuppie asexual gay character. It would take Queer as Folk and The L Word on cable, Brothers & Sisters (left) on ABC, and Brokeback Mountain on the big screen to show gay men and women as somewhat multi-dimensional sexual beings. Images of gay people of color continue to be few and far between, but Noah's Arc and the film Dirty Laundry have made some inroads in this area.

Bruce Kluger wrote a column for USA Today this week that points out that the entertainment industry has done what it can to assimilate gay characters into programming, but in so doing has left out the issues
"...this significant step forward carries with it a liability: As entertainment executives conscientiously work to bring the gay experience into the mainstream in a non-political way, they also run the risk of neglecting the real-life struggles gays continue to face."
While Law & Order and According to Jim lampoon (or "rip from the headlines") a closeted gay politician tap-dancing in a bathroom stall, headlines of real importance to the LGBT community are often left out. Stories of a non-inclusive ENDA, "Don't Ask, Dont' Tell" or an anti-gay ballot amendment in Florida could seriously add to the discussion -- and to change.

To paraphrase the L.A. Times' Liff, we need the entertainment industry to tell some of the "messier realities" of our lives. The impending end of the writers' strike may bring some added visibility, but the real problem continues to be a lack of characters and shows which feature LGBT characters who can even tell these stories.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Lunar New Year!

Today is the Lunar New Year. In recognition, we've released a Be an Ally & a Friend PSA from our good friend Rex Lee from Entourage.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Keisha Gets Girlicious!

The Pussycat Dolls are back on The CW for another round of auditions, and network reps confirm that out performer Keisha is one of the 15 finalists competing this season. Unlike the last go-round, where contestants were vying to join the Dolls, this time they are looking to stay in the game for 10 episodes until the last three standing form a new trio named Girlicious, receiving a contract with Geffen Records.

According to Keisha's official online profile, she's a 22-year-old from North Hollywood, CA, who admires Beyonce and Aaliyah.

Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious premieres Feb 18 at 9PM ET/PT, with encores Wednesdays at 9PM ET/PT following new episodes of America's Next Top Model.

Incidentally, last season's winner, Asia Nitollano, a former New York Knicks dance team member from Mt. Vernon, NY, quit after she was crowned the winner, choosing to pursue a solo career instead.

YOU can be on The Real World

The Real World is at its best when its inclusive of LGBT people (like Davis, right), and now you can be the next MTV reality star!

If you're 18-24, you're invited to attend one of the upcoming casting calls:

February 9th in Salt Lake City, Chicago, and College Station, TX
February 12th in Amherst, MA
February 16th in New Haven, CT

For details on the above casting calls, or to UPLOAD A CASTING VIDEO, please visit

The show is also recruiting in the following cities: Albuquerque, Ann Arbor, Austin, Boston, DC, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Madison, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Antonio, Scottsdale, Seattle.

If you live within driving distance of one of these recruiting cities, please email The subject heading should contain ONLY the name of your city. Please attach a few photos of yourself as well as a brief bio, and also mention that you heard about this opportunity through GLAAD.

We'll see you on MTV!

Social Change Doc Funds Available

Submissions for the 2008 GUCCI TRIBECA DOCMENTARY FUND are now open!

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund offers finishing funds to feature-length documentaries which promote social change and highlight critical issues currently absent from mainstream media. Applications will be accepted between February 5 and April 11, 2008 for grants ranging from 5k to 30k. The 2008 grantees will be announced in July 2008.

For on-line submissions and further information please visit:

Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson

To commemorate Black History Month, GLAAD released today a public service announcement from Access Hollywood co-anchor Shaun Robinson as part of its “Be an Ally & a Friend” campaign. The 30-second spot is scheduled to make its television premiere tonight on Access Hollywood and features Robinson denouncing the use of anti-gay words and homophobic jokes, while encouraging viewers to treat others with dignity and respect. The new PSA has also been made available to all NBC-owned affiliates for broadcast.

Vist GLAAD's "Be an Ally & a Friend" channel to see more about the campaign.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Gay Content in Superbowl Ads?

Our friends at have put together their picks of Superbowl ads which feature LGBT content. Or do they? Postings on YouTube show just how divided people are on Commercial Closet's choices and whether much of the content could even be considered remotely gay. In one spot, Justin Timberlake's pal, SNL's Andy Sanberg, briefly plays himself as a Justin stalker in a Britney wig. Gay? Trans? C, none of the above?

What's clear is that there isn't really a Snickers ad in the bunch. After last year's male liplock=violence theme led to the entire campaign being scrapped, advertisers seemed to step cautiously into any territory that could be considered gay, or specifically, violence against gays.

But's Michael Jensen, who jokes that his hat may have been screwed on too tight during the game, interpreted gay violence in two ads: One, a Bridgestone spot where a driver seems to have his eyes set on running down Richard Simmons (who is not out and has said in the past he's not gay). The second is a Fox Prison Break promo where the scumbag character of T-Bag (a sexual predator both in and out of prison, leading Jensen to label him bisexual) is flattened by players on the Superbowl field. If Jensen was looking to engage his readers it worked; by days end many readers posted that yes, his hat probably was screwed on too tight.

But why read what the Monday Morning Quarterbacks had to say when you can watch and decide for yourself here:

Wouldn't it be nice if Orbitz just aired one of its gay-inclusive ads during the Superbowl? Now that would be progress.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Remembering a Community Giant

I am in Palm Springs for the weekend where memorial tributes are pouring in for local out philanthropist Earl Greenburg, 61, who died Friday after a battle with melanoma. His family, including his life partner, David Peet, was by his side. The couple have a young daughter, Kathryn Claire Peet-Greenburg.

Greenburg (far right) is remembered as a man who sustained Sonny Bono's vision of turning Palm Springs and the Palm Springs International Film Festival into the "Cannes of the West."

As chairman of the festival's board, Greenburg built the festival to be the second largest in the country. Out Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet credited Greenburg with "catapulting" the film festival into a "first-class event that earned Palm Springs world prominence."

A former NBC and Home Shopping Network exec, Greenburg, is also credited for being a leader in the local fight against HIV/AIDS. His first partner, Rick Weiss, died in 1994, inspiring Greenburg to create the annual Rick Weiss Humanitarian Awards gala to raise money for local charities. The event is scheduled for April 12.

Greenburg and his partner Peet received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on March 31. They were the first gay couple to receive such an honor. Today, the sidewalk is filled with bouquets of flowers.

Palm Springs resident and music legend Barry Manilow described Greenburg as "one of the pillars of our community."

The Week Ahead for Gay TV

If it's Groundhog Day it must be February Sweeps! With sweeps the networks bring out their big guns — or at least what they've stockpiled since the writers strike. Since scripted programming is at a minimum, most of our stories during the coming week — save Torchwood, The Wire, The L Word, and Cashmere Mafia — will be told in reality programming.

Set your TiVo for these reality superstars:
  • Saturday: 9:00 pm Color Splash, HGTV; David Bromstad turns a garage into a lounge! And at 10:00 pm, The Graham Norton Show, BBC America; Graham interviews Joan Rivers (who I'll be seeing this week in her new one-woman show at the Geffen).
  • Monday: 8:00 pm Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, ABC
  • Tuesday: 10:30 pm Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, Oxygen; the models head to Miami (and I'm heading there at the end of the month for Winter Party!).
  • Wednesday: 10:00 pm Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Gauntlet III, MTV; Ryan (right) remains after breaking Tyler's heart. Brooke and Evelyn? Time will tell. On at the same time is Project Runway, Bravo; the dames of design meet the dames of wrestling. Followed by Dress My Nest, Style at 11:00 pm; Queer Eye’s Thom Filicia designs a romantic bedroom.
  • Thursday: 8:00 pm Survivor: Micronesia, CBS (PREMIERE); Past season favorites including lesbian Ami (Survivor: Vanatu) compete against rookies including gay Chet. And at 10:00 pm, Make Me a Supermodel, Bravo; out model Ronnie Kroell continues!
  • Friday: 9:00 pm How to Look Good Naked, Lifetime. When is Carson going to give me some tips?
•RERUN TO WATCH: Friday's Desperate Housewives is the one in which Bob and Lee’s new water sculpture causes an uproar on Wisteria Lane.

•SPOILER ALERT: A new Lifetime dance competition show will be gay x3. More later!

Find out much more at our weekly TV GAYED listing.

Friday, February 1, 2008

American Idol Touchdown! Gay History Made

It's season seven of American Idol and until now, no contestants have spoken openly about being gay while on the show. This has probably been a combination of careful editing, producers instructions or the contestants own fear of being judged unfairly. But that all changed last week when the show held auditions in Omaha, Nebraska. Of all places, our gay shining star came from the smallest of small places, Charlotte, Iowa.

23-year-old Leo Marlowe was the final contestant to try out on Tuesday, and he had us at hello when one of the first things out of his mouth was "My mom always said she raised the perfect homecoming queen. Too bad it wasn't one of her daughters." With the three judges busting a gut, there was no way producers could have edited out that gem. Well they could of if Leo had sucked, but he didn't as he performed "A Song For You" by Donny Hathaway.

Simon called him a good, honest kid; Paula said he's a "touchdown!" (and she wants to take him home); and Randy said he was "rockin' the bells." Not sure what that means, but whatever, all three unanimously put Leo on through to Hollywood. We'll be watching the next round with fingers crossed that Leo continues to be refreshingly honest — and keeps rockin' the bells!

Check out Leo's performance here and see the thrilled reaction from his family and friends (aka the population of Charlotte, Iowa).

SoCal Black Film Festivals Get Their Gay On

Two Southern California film festivals focusing on films from and about members of communities of African descent are taking place during the coming days, and each feature LGBT-inclusive films and shorts. The San Diego Black Film Festival is going on right now, and the Los Angeles Pan African Film & Arts Festival kicks off next week. We've got your LGBT look at what will be screened here.

The film Blueprint, from director/writer Kirk Shannon-Butts, was chosen to appear at both fests. This film, set amidst the hustle of vibrant Harlem, is a modern-day love story of two college students, Keith and Nathan. They meet one day after class and embark upon a journey of discovery.

In other news, GLAAD Media Award-nominated Dirty Laundry expands to Atlanta, Baltimore and DC. Check it out!

As always, check out what's coming up and coming out in LGBT film at our exclusive cineQUEER database.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Seen at Queer Lounge

The furniture has been packed up and tucked safely away for another year. The beautifully-framed vintage movie posters of queer films shown at Sundance have been bubble wrapped until they can be displayed again. And the Queer Lounge sign has come down from its very prominent spot on Park City's Main Street. What we're left with is a strong sense of community, business cards and future opportunities.

Thousands of festival-goers, filmmakers, actors and industry types made their way through the doors of Queer Lounge for networking, educational panels, premiere parties and other mixers. Take a look at just a few of the familiar faces. . .

photos by

Special thanks to all the volunteers who came from all over the country to work long hours and fight off the cold, flu and other ailments passed around the Queer Lounge condo. Of course, none of this could be possible without the support of all of our sponsors, in particular Presenting Sponsor ABSOLUT VODKA, and Major Sponsors Bud Light and Fandango.

Red Premiere Party at Queer Lounge

You don't have to be gay — just an ally and a friend — to appreciate the Queer Lounge. Filmmakers of Red, showcased at Sundance, held their premiere party at the lounge and stars such as Brian Cox, Tim Daly, the Dave Matthews Band and more partied until the wee hours.

photos by

refers to a 14-year-old dog who is killed by troubled teens, only to have karma bite them in the ass when Red's owner (Brian Cox) seeks revenge. Reviewed here by Variety.

Friday, January 25, 2008

We did it!

Today we are finally packing up our snow-stained clothes and heading back to warmer climes. We had a great time here and hope that our readers had fun living vicariously through us!

Check out the video below, highlighting just some of the best moments at Queer Lounge.

Love the QL reel? Watch it on demand!

For those of you who spent any amount of time on the 2nd floor of Queer Lounge saw a series of movie trailers, GLAAD Media Awards coverage and great ads from ABSOLUT, Bud Light and Fandango running on a seemingly endless loop.

However, we've gotten requests to have the reel available in its entirety. No one says we don't listen to our readers! Check it out here: it's broken up into three parts.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There's a Place for Gay Zombies

Saw Otto; or Up With Dead People and it may best be described as a gay gore horror mockumentary with zombies and sex, but even that doesn’t do it justice. Director Bruce LaBruce's storytelling doesn't shy away from soft-core porn elements, which has put the out director on the underground map—if there were a map of the underground (that's an inside Otto joke). We hosted a Queer Lounge panel featuring the director earlier this week and he said then that his filmmaking is often at odds — he presumed — with GLAAD because his highly-sexual characters aren’t “positive” gay role models.

I was happy to have had a chance to meet the director and hopefully dispel his notion that GLAAD rebels against images that may not be considere "positive." He thanked me for letting him know that GLAAD’s mission is to see “fair, accurate and inclusive” representations of LGBT lives on the screen — whether those be zombies or otherwise. While Otto may not be for everyone (between the flesh-eating and the hints of gratuitous sex, plenty of people walked out of the screening), I found the script to be campy sharp (ripe for a midnight movie) and the story a not-so-veiled-metaphor of the violence gay people face every day.

Sure, LGBT serial killers, in films like Basic Instinct and Silence of the Lambs, once raised red flags at GLAAD and for good reason; in the absence of “positive” images it’s necessary to get upset over the “negative” ones. But we’re in a different time now, where there are more representations of our lives in all forms of media. There’s room now for good, bad and plenty of grey shades in between. When there are two dozen LGBT-inclusive films screening at Sundance and Slamdance, and another two dozen at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, there are going to be LGBT images that run the gamut from positive to negative stereotypes, and odds are that many will fall into the "fair, accurate and inclusive" bucket.

And with Otto, Bruce has created a sexy horror spoof inclusive of gay people, er, zombies.

Take a look at a clip of Bruce at our Queer Lounge panel:

An interesting side note: At the Queer Lounge panel I sat next to the adorable Jey Crisfar, who plays Otto (above) with delightful abandon. Bruce revealed how he cast Jey for this pivotal part: "I found him on MySpace."

Half-Life Stars Remember Heath

The sudden and tragic loss of Heath Ledger is on the minds of many here in Park City.

As our friend Marc Malkin reports on E!'s Planet Gossip, Half-Life star Lee Marks (left) choked up when talking about the late actor at the Sundance premiere of his film. Marks says it was Ledger's role in Brokeback Mountain that helped inspire his own work in Half-Life, the story of a romance between an Asian American male and an African American male.

“I always told myself that when I was able to play a gay character, I'd feel that I had arrived as an actor,” Marks said while fighting back tears. “I read an article about how Heath developed his character and what the character felt. I watched Brokeback Mountain about 15 times.”

Co-star Leonardo Nam (above right), who grew up in Sydney, Australia, said he and Ledger hung out in the same social circle and shared an acting coach. “He was such a brave actor by the way he directed his own career, making choices such as Brokeback and now doing the Batman movie,” Nam said. "It's dangerous to reprise a role that has already been done by Jack Nicholson. It was incredible to choose that."

The Queer Sundance Movie Poster Show (1985-2007)

Throughout the run of Queer Lounge, the second floor has been packed with incredible movie posters of LGBT films which have screened at Sundance during the last two decades. Curated by Jenni Olson (author, The Queer Movie Poster Book) and Ellen Huang (founder and program director of Queer Lounge), the posters reflect the great range of gay cinema.

Highlights included the key art of classics like Desert Hearts (1985) and Parting Glances (1986) to recent favorites like Saving Face (2005) and this year's Pariah.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ellen Tells All!

We are pleased to offer an interview with Ellen Huang, Queer Lounge's founder and program director for GLAAD. Learn how Queer Lounge got its start and what Ellen thinks is the best part of the Lounge in '08. You may be surprised by her answer!

Rex Lee: Sundance and Beyond

Our friend Rex Lee from HBO's Entourage has made the rounds at Sundance the past few days, presenting the nominations for the GLAAD Media Awards, and telling his own "When I Knew" story at a Queer Lounge panel based on the book and HBO documentary.

Today we are releasing our latest Be an Ally & a Friend PSA and it just so happens to star -- drum roll please -- Mr. Rex Lee. While it may seem like I am wearing a crush on Rex on my sleeve, the PSA has long been on our calendar to release in recognition of Lunar New Year.

The PSA will make its broadcast television premiere on Thursday, February 7, on ImaginAsian TV (iaTV) and AZN Television in honor of the Chinese New Year, which is the largest Lunar New Year celebration within the East Asian community. But you don't have to wait until then and can see it here...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Calling all filmmakers: You CAN distribute films yourselves!

As many burgeoning filmmakers know, figuring out how to distribute your finished product can be difficult, terrifying and/or frustrating. Queer Lounge hosted a strong panel today filled with experts from all areas of the spectrum, ready to answer the toughest of questions from the audience, many of whom were filmmakers and distributers themselves.

Two indie directors, Maurice Jamal (Dirty Laundry) and Hunter Weeks (10mph) were on hand to share their own experiences with self-distribution. Leslie Nuccio (Cafe Press) and Maria Lynn (Wolfe Video) were available to discuss marketing. There was even a representative from YouTube, George Strompolos, to talk about the option of having an entire original film posted on the site and even ad revenue sharing opportunities. Frameline's Michael Lumpkin moderated the panel.

Maurice Jamal described how he self-distributed and promoted his two films, Ski Trip and Dirty Laundry.

He also gave some advice to young filmmakers on how to market their work.