Billy Porter, who was given the Vito Russo Award from GLAAD this weekend, made as rousing a speech as Debra Messing, calling on gay people to get it together and go to war against discrimination.
He said we need to get our “war clothes” on, because:
... From slavery to emancipation to the 13th Amendment to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement to Stonewall to AIDS to marriage equality, we gotta remember the shoulders who we stand on, the ones who fought and died for those freedoms that we hold so dear.
He went on to call himself a survivor of the AIDS crisis and a grateful beneficiary of the marriage-equality movement:
It's time to take this moment and acknowledge that the reailty of life is that it's ever-involving, and until we can figure out how to love on another unconditionally, no one wins — NO ONE. Freedom, equality, justice, have always come at a cost, and evidently they always will.
Keep reading to see his whole speech, which was punctuated by a repurposed gospel song ...
Goldie Hawn, in a joint interview with Amy Schumer conducted for PrideSource, remembers the AIDS years in Hollywood, saying:
When we went through the AIDS period, it was a very scary time, and I would go visit guys and I'd get in bed with them just to be there with them.
She also spells out her approach to LGBT — and human — rights:
Being an ally for LGBT people and an ally for all people, transgender or whatever - to me, that's a human story. I feel there are injustices in the world that I'll stand up for, and I think that it's important to realize that the world is filled with these kinds of issues. We're dealing with intolerance and what's going on with deportation and what's happening with Mexicans and what's happening with people who are Muslim. There are so many things, and if you can't stand up for it, then you're not standing up for humankind. Because that's who we are. We all have skin and blood, and we're all made of the same things. I have a note that I will probably needlepoint one day: "Love knows no gender." And it doesn't. Love is something in the heart and in the mind, so why would you chastise anyone for that? And this is something that I feel very strongly about.
I'm gay for so many people that I think I may be just gay.
Goldie & Amy's Snatched is in theaters May 12. It marks Hawn's first film since 2002's The Banger Sisters.
Fun Facts: Goldie battled the late Jonathan Demme on their film Swing Shift (1984) — he wanted it edgy, she wanted laughs. Also, Goldie and Madonna were all set to star in the film adaptation of Chicago (2002), but Goldie was allegedly fired for being too old and Madonna dumped by then-director Nicholas Hytner before eventual director Rob Marshall came on board.
Jonathan Demme: February 22, 1944—April 26, 2017 (Image via handout)
Jonathan Demme, who won the Oscar for directing The Silence of the Lambs (1991), has died of cancer at 73, Variety reports.
After a string of edgy, critically acclaimed films like the offbeat Howard Hughes buddy movie Melvin and Howard (1980), the much-loved Talking Heads doc Stop Making Sense (1984), the Melanie Griffith road movie Something Wild (1986) and the Michelle Pfeiffer mobster comedy Married to the Mob (1988), Demme broke into A-list director territory with Lambs, which became a rare film to win all of the Top 5 awards at the Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay.
Lambs, for which then-closeted actress Jodie Foster won the Oscar (giving a speech that obliquely referenced her choice to be a private person), contains — along with fine acting and memorable suspense — an arguably exploitative representation of a serial killer who is described as someone who thinks he is, and wants to be, “transsexual.” The script includes dialogue that attempts to argue that actual trans people are not prone to murder, but scenes of Buffalo Bill with his penis tucked between his legs and mugging in female garb seem unmistakably designed to creep out the audience.
It could be argued that Demme hadn't completely shaken off his early years working on unapologetically exploitative films for Roger Corman, including his directorial debut, Caged Heat (1974).
Buffalo Bill's shock value (Image via Orion)
Nonetheless, The Silence of the Lambs has since been called one of the 100 Greatest Films Ever Made by the AFI, and was an enormous international success.
In Demme's follow-up to Lambs, he took on the topic of AIDS in Philadelphia (1993), which won Tom Hanks his first Oscar. The film grossed nearly $80 million in the U.S., thanks to Demme's efforts to get it made, and thanks to his casting of movie stars Hanks and Denzel Washington.
His career took a swift dive thereafter, with the Oprah Winfrey-starring bomb Beloved (1998) and the poorly received remakes The Truth About Charlie (2002) and The Manchurian Candidate (2004).
Rachel Getting Married (2008), starring Anne Hathaway, represented a return to Demme's roots. His final narrative films, A Master Builder (2013) and the Meryl Streep vehicle Ricki and the Flash (2015) did not make a big impact.
In 2016, Demme directed Justin Timberlake's concert feature, Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids, for Netflix.
Demme had been battling cancer at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Joanne Howard and their three children.
The album is a new choral work based on David Levithan's novel of the same name. Joshua Shank is the composer. The album contains six different spoken-word narrators, a 150-voice choir, two soloists and a chamber orchestra.
From a press release:
Nearly two years in the making, Two Boys Kissing tells the story of a group of teenagers as they face contemporary struggles head on. Craig and Harry plan to break the world record for longest kiss as their uplifting and inspirational response to a hate crime. Ryan and Avery meet at prom and fall in love, but Avery struggles to reveal the most personal part of his story to Ryan. Cooper copes with a difficult family situation by chatting online with older men, eventually fleeing his home after a brutal attack by his father. All the while these brave boys are observed from above by their angel grandfathers, an entire generation of gay men who died of AIDS.
Check it out if you think it sounds as great as I think it sounds!