2 posts categorized "VICTOR FEHRENBACH"

Apr 26 2012
Caring Is Chering: The 23rd GLAAD Media Awards Take L.A. Comments (7)

Gilles MariniYes, we are gay—don't judge Gilles Marini and me

Last Saturday, I had a lot of fun covering the red carpet of the 23rd GLAAD Media Awards. Didn't I just do that? Yes, but that was the New York edition; as I was in L.A., I covered the West Coast gathering. See, GLAAD ain't dumb—they have two to make it so no celebrity can say, "Oh, I'm on the wrong coast! I can't go!"

I hired my sweet pal Brad as my videographer and met him at the Westin USBonaventure just in time to check in and take our places. I kind of hate how the carpet was set up—the guests were allowed to congregate behind us to stargaze, which was distracting. But it was nothing compared to the women two spots down from me whose entire goal was to flash a huge "FREE GAY HUGS!" sign and video themselves receiving said hugs from roughly two-thirds of the celebrities who walked. (And I thought I was lame with my aggressive pic-with requests!) They were so damn loud! Luckily, they didn't ruin any of my interviews, but only by sheer luck.

Brad's mic needed batteries (he's blond; sorry, Brad) so I wound up videoing my own first chat, with Jennifer Tyrrell. She's the lesbian mom recently booted as a den mother by the virulently homophobic Boy Scouts of America. Smart woman and immediately likable. Unreal that they're getting away with that crap. I was a cub scout (I bailed on Webelos mainly because...what the fuck is a Webelo???) and fondly remember my Pinewood Derby racing days as well as the hillbilly band we assembled for a talent night. Not to mention the father/son cook-off, in which my father and I had a well-appreciated coconut cream pie. But still, fuck the Scouts.

My first stars were Angela Featherstone (STUH-nning, but my campadre confessed she had been an ice queen on a recent shoot) and Michelle Paradise of Exes & Ohs. No Megan Cavanagh, but they were delightful.

Grant GustinNext, I snagged Grant Gustin of Glee. I don't really follow the show, but no one that cute is getting past me without a third degree. He's adorable and quite articulate, even if he refers to gay people as "homosexuals," which totally didn't offend me because he was totally doing it to sound smart, not homophobic. I had a homosexual crush on various parts of him.

Max AdlerMax Adler from the same show was equally adorable and charming. He's passionate about his role, even though it came as a total shocker that his bullying character would be written as a late-blooming man-lover.

 Read More

 
Sep 19 2011
Do Tell: A Review Of The Strange History Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Comments (0)

SafariScreenSnapz001

I was invited to a special screening of The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, IMG_1975 the new documentary by World of Wonder wizzes Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey that debuts at midnight tonight on HBO—DADT is history as of that time.

Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know, this pop documentary (it's got lots of visual candy to make all the complex policy talk idiot-proof) underscored a few things for me, such as the fact that DADT, considered a "step forward" back in Clinton's 1993, was actually the first time it became illegal to be gay in the military as opposed to being in violation of a policy. It was definitely a case of two steps back to get forward 20 years later.

IMG_1973Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Victor Fehrenback, Mike Almy & Aubrey Sarvis

Also interesting was the history of our country's policies on gays in the military (a quickie look at gays in the armed services over the past few thousand years was a bit cutesy for me)—I'd had no idea that WWII was the first time it became against policy, and loved the film's argument that the very notion of a gay community came from gay soldiers during WWII being discharged and dumped at ports...like Manhattan and San Francisco. Anchors aweigh we go, Mary!

SafariScreenSnapz001Via Towleroad: DADT R.I.P.

The filmmakers have crafted an almost shockingly apolitical film Yes, John McCain is a delicious villain, but he's not manipulated nor is he a metaphor for all anti-gay people; he was there in '93 and there again in '10 for the birth and death of DADT. The film depicts Bill Clinton as an idealist who grossly underestimated the necessity of getting the military to buy into his plan to open its ranks to gays, and depicts Barack Obama as more of a pragmatist, who wanted the ban lifted and who set about doing it methodically. Neither man comes off poorly, and Republicans are not singled out by party; instead, we are able to see each individual man and woman who testified or worked for or against DADT in his or her own words. It's quite weird to see a film about something that just happened, yet to see so many of the players already relegated to the sidelines—Patrick Murphy in particular.

NOV09_CoverChoi & Fehrenbach

IMovieScreenSnapz002 The film is greatly boosted by interviews with actual servicemen and servicewomen whose lives were heavily impacted by DADT, including the heroic Margarethe Cammermeyer, Victor Fehrenbach, Mike Almy (pictured, right) and Dan Choi. Their testimony about how DADT affected them stands in stark contrast to the sophomoric nonsense about shared showers and "unit cohesion" parroted by the powers-that-were, including Colin Powell.

Noh8VictorFehrenbachNot exactly the best way to change the minds of gay-squeamish troops, but...wow!

IMovieScreenSnapz001 I highly recommend the film. It's therapeutic to watch it and remember, "Whatever happened from Point A to Point Z, we won this sucker."

After, we were able to quiz the filmmakers, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Aubrey Sarvis as well as Fehrenbach and Almy, who gave terrific answers:

IMovieScreenSnapz001 My question was the one someone asked last, which is: If a Republican wins the presidency and decides to reinstate DADT, would that happen? The answer seems to be it totally could happen, but the military (ironically) would probably protest:

Clearly, more still needs to be done:

Afterward, I had a chance to meet all involved. I missed shaking the hand of Melvin Dwork, the 89-year-old man who just this week had his "undesirable" discharge from 70 years ago converted to an "honorable" discharge. (Now to take care of the 99,000 others!)

IMG_1963SLDN'S Aubrey Sarvis with the newly desirable Melvin Dwork

Mike Diamond, whose fisting parody of Katy Perry's "E.T." will have you (and your duodenum) in stitches, threw himself at the servicemen so shamelessly I had to borrow some Crisco from him to lube them up and pull him off. But it's okay—gay people have every right to become servicemembers in the military, and those of us not in the military have every right to attempt to service the members of anyone on or off active duty.

IMG_1974Because I, too, am a hussy