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319 posts categorized "BOOKS "

Jun 21 2016
Ground Control To Major Diva: My One-Stop Book Tour With Alaska Thunderf*ck Comments (0)

IMG_6503* copyA Lammy? We're aiming for the National Book Award! (All images in this post courtesy of Matthew Rettenmund)

Uncharacteristically, I haven't written about my recent quick trip to L.A. to promote the book I wrote with Alaska Thunderf*ck (or Thunderfun, as she is called  PEG store for newsletterfor the sake of marketing the book to people still living at home). For some reason, I kept putting other stuff in front of writing this up, maybe because it wound up being an unexpectedly warm-and-fuzzy (if frantic and fleeting) event.

I went out two weekends ago—business class. I've never been in business class, so far as I remember, and found it ultra-comfortable and immediately took it on as my new normal, so that when I fly coach next time it will feel like being evicted from a gated community.

I'd planned to work from the plane, but the WiFi was out, meaning I did nothing but sleep. I wasn't sure what I was doing as far as promo for the book—Alaska Thunderfun and the Inner Space Odyssey—so being well-rested was a step (in a high-heeled shoe) in the right direction.

Working with Alaska had been a breeze. She has an insanely fun creation story that involves intergalactic gender-bending and the early '80s, and she knew pretty much what she wanted me to do, so I simply did it and she offered her input where needed and it was finished. I think it wound up being pretty funny and hopefully will surprise people with its mission of gender fluidity. I think of it as a Choose Your Own Gender book, or like Goosebumps with lovely lady lumps.

IMG_6492* copyJiggy Caliente was on hand to interview the ladies who launch

I stayed in Little Tokyo, which meant I was sick of Japanese food—which I love!—within two meals, but since I was working all day from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., IMG_6508* copythat really only left me time to eat at offbeat times and squeeze in a couple of meetings with friends I hadn't seen in forever and, of course, to explore my popularity as a new face on the locals' Grindr feeds.

Again, I must thank the parents who continue to raise their young men to have no morals at all.

IMG_6494* copyGlamtr0n philly

The event itself was a lot of fun, once I had a solid handle on what was expected. It was celebrating the opening of the first all-drag retail store at Arts District Co-Op (453 Colyton St., L.A.), where the merch of such drag luminaries as Jinkx Monsoon, Adore Delano, Sharon Needles and—of course—Alaska would be on sale. The space was chic, beautifully designed and 100% conducive to lots of impulse-buying. I was eyeing some Violet Chachki wear, and I'm not even a big fan!

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Jun 17 2016
6-PACK — Melissa Etheridge's PULSE + Sen. Baldwin: THIS WAS A HATE CRIME + Republicans For Hillary + NEMESIS RISING Star To Wed + Beehive Creator, YA Author Die + Remembering Mother Jefferson! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureABOVE: Melissa Etheridge debuts “Pulse,” her contribution to the LGBT cause in the wake of the mass shooting.

*widget boy cultureSen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)—1st out person elected to the Senate—says of Orlando: “I want to stress that this was a hate crime.”

*widget boy cultureHighest-ranking Republican yet grudgingly declares he will back Hillary over Trump.

*widget boy cultureJoshua Miller, one of the twins from Logo's 2006 Jacob & Joshua: Nemesis Rising series, to get married on Saturday:

*widget boy cultureThe creator of the beehive hairdo has died at 98. Also RIP: Lois Duncan, YA suspense author of I Know What You Did Last Summer, has died at 82.

*widget boy cultureThis has to be a more loving, thorough tribute to Zara “Mother Jefferson” Cully than she received when she died 38 years ago!

Zara Cully Brown-1Zara Cully (Image via The Cully Family/CBS)

 
Jun 13 2016
6-PACK — Is There An Oscar For Crisis Acting? + Gay Clubs As Safe Spaces + Adele Hearts LGBTQ People + Jimmy Somerville's Bittersweet Tribute + Bobby Brown Pulled Madonna & Janet + Farewell, JUDY JETSON & ALF! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureABOVE: People who immediately assume mass murders are concocted by The Powers That Be and survivors are all crisis actors are mentally ill. Avoid. Block. All of  'em.

*widget boy cultureBarry Walters on gay clubs as “cultural centers, safe spaces and targets.” The rise of social media hasn't changed that.

*widget boy cultureAdele dedicates her concert to the Orlando victims and all LGBTQ people: “They're like my soulmates since I was really young, so I was very moved by it.”

*widget boy cultureJimmy Somerville's mournful a cappella rendition of  Bronski Beat's “Why” goes out in memory of the Orlando massacre:

*widget boy cultureHER PREROGATIVE: Madonna had her way with Bobby Brown, who also nailed Janet Jackson ... before kicking her out! Her dad didn't like her dating black men.

*widget boy cultureJanet “Judy Jetson” Waldo has died @ 96. Last Jetson!  Met her in 2012 and she acted so young I had not a clue of her age. Actor in the ALF costume also passed away.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01774495cbcc970dWaldo was already 92 here, but was worried about Mary Carlisle's health—Carlisle's now 102! (Image by Chexy Decimal)

 
Jun 08 2016
Didn't She Almost Have It All?: Bobby Brown Confirms Whitney Houston Was Bisexual Comments (0)

When I was a teenager, I read a question from a reader in Parade or something like that asking if Whitney Houston had any boyfriends. The answer was that she was too busy working and that she instead had a cat.

I will never forget that answer because I knew immediately it was code for, “Girl, she eats pussy.”

Sadly, over the years, many of Whitney Houston's fans were in denial over her obvious lesbianism, or at least bisexuality, and swallowed whole the nonsense that Robyn Crawford was just her good pal and not her girlfriend.

Now, Whitney's ex Bobby Brown is confirming his wife was bisexual (I seem to recall he has written this in a previous book, too) in his memoir Every Little Step.

Heartbreakingly, he tells Us Weekly:

I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today. She didn’t have close friends with her anymore.

What might've been.

 

 
Jun 05 2016
Anti-Anti-Gay: ATTITUDE Editor Matthew Todd On Our Literal STRAIGHT Jackets Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 3.03.37 PMAuthor Matthew Todd (Images via Bantam)

Matthew Todd, Attitude's longtime EIC, writes passionately about the inordinate amount of depression and anxiety still experienced by LGBT people, in spite of so many advances we've made in the past 20 years:

Culturally, homosexuality and misery have been linked so tightly by the haters over the years that they have become an offensive cliché to the point where any discussion is dismissed as prejudice. But discuss it we must.

More and more statistics reveal that LGBT people have higher levels of depression, anxiety, addiction and suicidal thoughts. The British Crime Survey 2009 showed that gay men used illicit drugs three times more than heterosexual men. It’s hardly a surprise. As therapist and author Joe Kort states so well in his book 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives, what’s wrong is not our sexuality, but our experience of growing up in a society that still does not fully accept that people can be anything other than heterosexual and cisgendered (ie born into the physical gender you feel you are). It is the damage done to us by growing up strapped inside a cultural straitjacket—tight-fitting, one-size restraint imposed on us at birth—that leaves no room to grow. It makes no allowances for the fact that, yes, indeed, some people are different and we deserve—and need—to be supported and loved for who we are, too.

Worth noting is the fact that regardless of how much more positive the climate is today for LGBT people, it's still toxic, and more importantly, it was far more toxic during the years when most LGBT adults were growing up:

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Jun 03 2016
6-PACK — Britney Sings! + FROG AND TOAD ARE (MORE THAN) FRIENDS + His 1st Gay Bar + End The Ban On Trans Service Members? + Trump Goes Full Racist On Judge + Addicted To This Swimwear! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureABOVE: Rare footage of Britney Spears singing—actually singing—surfaces. This was same era when I interviewed her and asked her if she enjoyed dancing (!).

*widget boy cultureFrog and Toad Are Friends was a same-sex love story by a gay man: “[They are] of the same sex, and they love each other. It was quite ahead of its time in that respect.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.36.25 PMI wish I had encountered this on my first trip to a gay bar! (Video still via Evan L.)

*widget boy cultureNewly out millennial reports on his very first gay bar and his very first drag show.

*widget boy cultureGay Sec. of the Army hints at a long-overdue lifting of the still-in-effect ban on transgender service members.

*widget boy cultureDonald Trump is openly attacking the judge in his Trump U case for the man's Mexican heritage: “It's an inherent conflict of interest.” I guess since Trump's a bigot?

*widget boy cultureAddicted swimwear's scorching-hot “Summer of Love” campaign pays loose homage to the '60s. Or something.

Addicted-summer2016-31(Image via Addicted)

 
May 29 2016
Embedded In RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE: BATTLE OF THE SEASONS! Comments (0)
  IMG_6428 IMG_6391 DSC07173 DSC07284 DSC07401 DSC07612 DSC07641 DSC07696 DSC07759 DSC07852 DSC07947 DSC07985 DSC08118 DSC08124 DSC08207 DSC08269 DSC08287 DSC08303

(All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless otherwise noted) 

I've watched every season of RuPaul's Drag Race, I've done drag as Samantha Fox and I just co-wrote a book with none other than Alaska, so count me in when another RuPaul's Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons event hits NYC.

Alaska60(Image via Producer Entertainment Group)

This past week's extravaganza was a blast! I was able to do the VIP meet-and-greet hour, where I shot all the girls—Manila Luzon, Miss Fame, Sharon Needles, Katya, Jinkx Monsoon, Violet Chachki, Adore Delano, Ginger Minj and Alaska herself—and then even managed to work my way backstage for some quality time with the low-lifes in high heels.

IMG_6278The merch available was incredible.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.28.20 AMThe Ru queens attract more female than male fans. Discuss.

IMG_6348Alaska's necklace really got into the groove.

IMG_6346Purr-fect Adore Delano

IMG_6300Bettie Page-ing Violet Chachki! Bettie Page-ing Violet Chachki!

IMG_6373A fan, in the pink

IMG_6311She skipped her hometown (Atlanta) show because Katya wasn't in it, instead hopping on a plane to NYC!

IMG_6287BeatenFaceTime with Courtney Act

IMG_6291America knows good drag queens when they see them. Here, actual girls give drag a woman's touch.

IMG_6321The Miss Fame game

IMG_6352Who killed Marilyn Monroe? Ask her! Sharon Needles serves old-time glamour.

IMG_6310Ginger Minj goes blonde. Does the carpet match the drapes? Honey, what about that curtain rod?

IMG_6377Katya, in the act

IMG_6390Jinkx Monsoon season

IMG_6331It takes two, it takes two ... Michelle Visage and friends

IMG_6362With so much feminine beauty around, I still couldn't help noticing the boy of anyone's dreams.

IMG_6423This one also would not have to sashay away.

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 12.58.50 AMEven Bianca was “there.” I could only think of this book cover. (Book cover via Simon & Schuster)

Backstage was a hoot. Or a hooter.

Sharon was friendly as could be, and embracing a far less Goth look, one of which Eve Arden would approve.

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May 24 2016
Alaska's New Video Is A Hole 'Nother Level Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 1.27.56 PM(Video still via Alaska)

Alaska is serving “Anus,” and don't you dare send it back to the kitchen!

Keep reading for the video, and buy the book I wrote with her here ...

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