The 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis last night was a fun time once I decided I was for sure not dashing to Connecticut to support a friend's event starring Mickey Rooney. I'd already committed to GLAAD and couldn't quite wrap my mind around three hours (both ways) of travel for an hour of notoriously curmudgeonly Rooney fielding questions about his career and undoubtedly griping about the filth that passes for entertainment today, but I was happy to hear later that Mickey's gig was a treat in the end.
José was my camerman (which removes a lot of the stress; having to stick a video camera directly into someone's face is awkward, especially when they're not performing sexual acts and high on whatever people get high on these days).
He and I and everyone I ran into were kvetching about how tired we were, didn't wanna do this massive red carpet, etc. But it wound up being rather cool.
I was next to a really fun girl whose hair, nonetheless, kept creeping into my face and all over my body (she had a mane on her). At one point, it worked itself under my MEDIA sticker and tugged it partially off like one of those cartoon vines. She apologized and I accepted, but I have enough hair all over me.
As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.
This year was really fun, with one major exception—I was red-carpet robbed by this jerk who was with Ricky Martin. More on that later.
GLAAD was happy with my past coverage, so they granted me an extra body on the carpet—my partner José attended as my cameraman. We were placed just after a large column and between an adorable guy working for AfterElton (Tim O'Leary) with his pretty friend and someone's tripod. I liked our positioning in that we were at the very front of the online media and the column meant no pushing.
But the first star we encountered had been before we even got to our spots—we'd run into Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God. checking in. Joe was a nominee for his blog (the first time GLAAD has nominated blogs...about time!) and was convinced Pam of Pam's House Blend would win. "I'd bet the Powerball on it," he'd confided. (Later, he totally won, as I expected, but he had no idea until some attendees informed him since the category wasn't deemed worthy of inclusion in the actual program.)
Joe rocks (every time someone said "rock" or "Rokk," Rokk Vodka donated $100 to GLAAD)
Considering some of the stars scheduled, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the carpet—Tina Fey was a nominee but didn't walk (come the fuck on, Tina), Patrick Wilson was a presenter but also was a no-show (perhaps wisely fearing being devoured and eaten a la Sebastien Venable) and the Rev. Al Sharpton was on hand to give an award to Russell Simmons but did not do press. Vinny Guadagnino from Jersey Shore? Fuhgeddaboudit.
We made the evening our belated anniversary celebration
But on the other hand, the stars who actually did the carpet were nice and fun, and even Ricky Martin himself did lots and lots of press. Just not me. We're getting to it.
My first carpet catch was 17-year-old Bianca "Nikki" Peet, a dynamic girl who was initially denied the opportunity to form a gay-straight alliance at her Corpus Christi high school but whose perseverance against Principal James Crenshaw paid off—she now has her GSA club! She was the picture of intestinal fortitude in her wheelchair, her eyeshadow as sparkling as her personality.
Next up was Jarrett Barrios, who explained to me how GLAAD decides what's offensive and what isn't; a hard task, I can agree, considering the varied opinions my own occasionally outraged posts sometimes elicit. You think something is duh-obviously offensive—like that Vanity Fair piece casually calling the Glee boys "fags," GLAAD (among many others) points it out, then you read AfterElton sniping that it was no big deal. (In context, the writer was gay and felt it was an ironic or "cheeky" usage...which to me was not as readily apparent as, say, during a viewing Wet Hot American Summer.) I asked him about this more in reference to Ron Howard's "so gay" joke, which I think is a lot more in those troubled waters of nuance where a large part—if not the majority—of the public would not go along with calling it offensive.
Dapper Mike Ruiz, from The Gray List
Mike Ruiz was warm and quite dashing up close—no poodle hair! He was happy to talk about why The A-List: New York seems to have at least as many haters as lovers and to introduce his boyf to anyone who asked.
I'm not a regular The Fabulous Beekman Boys watcher, but José is, and he warned me not to ask about "the pig." I knew it referred to them killing a pig they'd raised, but I imagine, "Don't ask them about the pig!" could be good advice before interviewing just about any reality TV stars.
Boys of the red carpet Zac Young (Top Chef: Just Desserts) & Wilson Cruz
Of course I dirty-love and clean-admire Wilson Cruz—who doesn't, and why don't they? I asked him about the Glee kiss, his recent excursion into shirtlessness in bars and his pet cause (and it's much deeper than that phrase), LGBT teen homelessness.
Gail Simmons of Top Chef: Just Desserts—I don't think it was a boob query
Jane Velez-Mitchell—with her bombshell girlfriend, who she meet at last year's GLAAD Media Awards—was the picture of poise and confidence, picking the Westboro clan as the gay story of the year when I asked her to choose something. The carpet had gotten a bit clogged up, so I almost missed her while jockeying to get some time with the event's host, Andy Cohen.
I'd never met Andy, so wasn't sure what to expect. I think I thought he'd be bubblier or more flirtatious but he definitely wasn't a stick in the mud. I stumped him with a question, but he recovered and was game to talk Housewives a bit. As he departed, he muttered, "My breath is atrocious!" and got some kind of oral relief from his PR walker, but it really wasn't...maybe it was mine!
Laverne Cox of TRANSform Me is as stunning as you'd expect, about eight feel tall and not shy with her "girls" or her opinions—her desire to transform Charlie Sheen was genuine and fierce.
Meghan McCain has recently made a big, honkin' deal about the sacrosanct aspect of the presidency, saying it was "unbelievably desperate and sad" for President Obama—in trying to lure young voters to the polls this month—to have submitted to some questioning by the likes of Ryan Seacrest (on whose show she has asked to appear more than once, although she isn't the PRESIDENT, of course).
"I'm one of the people that still holds the office of the Presidency very seriously," Meghan McCain says.
As of midnight tonight, it will be exactly five years since my first post. It's hard to imagine it's been that long, and a lot's changed—the tone and subject matter are different, how often I post, my limits (no nudity in a couple of years due to ad constraints). I've devoted a crazy amount of time and money and energy to this blog for a very small financial return (you couldn't guess low enough), but it's always rewarding to have this forum with which to express myself, keep my writing ability fluid, perhaps influence a couple of people here and there, share obsessions with strangers (in both senses of the word) and learn new things.
Take That's Howard...can you believe this happened onstage at a pop concert?
Here are some of the posts that were most important to Boy Culture's history. For the uninitiated, some of the oldest ones refer to Boy Culture, the movie made of my novel; I started the blog at the time Boy Culture was being filmed as a way to keep people informed of the progress...and it all snowballed from there.
Some of these posts are milestones when it comes to the hits they provided but most are filled with original writing and/or photography and video and are just the posts of which I'm proudest. I hope you'll take some time to click on them and send their links around to others—and some time is what you'll need...
FROM BOY TO MAN: BC B.C. (2007): The entire history of my novella, novel and movie Boy Culture; might be my ultimate post.
From '07, one of my faves. Old iPhones were better because they were worse.
"Your pictures suck" (2008): An art critic attacks me, but not without sustaining some hits in return.
GUYDAR (since at least January 17, 2008) & ENDS OF THE WORLD (since at least January 13, 2008): Attractive men of the world—I got your backs. Your fronts, too.
TriBeCa is for Boy lovers...
BOY ON FILM (2006): An account of the NYC launch party for Boy Culture as it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.
Queen Latifah equates acknowledging being a lesbian with sharing a very intimate aspect of her "personal, personal" life, and seems to say that people who own up to their identities are publicity-hungry.
"I live my life...you write about my life, you write about what you see. I share with the public the things that we should share...We should share music, I mean, we should share my music, let's share films, let's share that, let's share thoughts about positive things, let's share those things. But what happens in my personal, personal life is my personal business."
No one's asking you to describe what it's like eating out your lover, La, it just would be nice if you'd treat your sexual identity as you do your gender or your race or any other extremely salient, basic fact of your existence. Keeping only one aspect of your private life private makes that aspect seem dirty. The media going along with you just reinforces that impression.
Or it might just be about that Queen Latifah brand she references in the clip; and if so, then be a woman and say, "I want as much money as I can get and if I talk too much about who I am, I might make less of it."
P.S. In the same interview, she defended Jersey Shore as "neighborly" and said people like to be entertained by reality shows. "People like watching other people's lives. That's just what it is."