440 posts categorized "AIDS"

May 17 2019
Book 'Em: Reviews Of Four Queer Books You Need Right Now Comments (0)

Check out these books, the four best that have been sent to me for review consideration in a long while:

Screen Shot 2019-05-17 at 11.55.08 AMMarc really opens up in this. (Image via Outsider Productions)

Impresario of Castro Street by Marc Huestis: Huestis, well-known for his Castro confabs with stars like Sandra Dee, Ann Blyth and Debbie Reynolds, is releasing a deliciously salacious memoir, one that begins with an abusive, anti-Semitic go-go dancer mother and his 14-year-old compulsion to suck dick and winds up with him hobnobbing with right-wing Jane Russell and lunching with reclusive Kim Novak. Along the way, Marc's is a relatable story of a young gay man growing up in the late '60s obsessed with men and with fabulous women, and who found a way to satisfy both. For me, the details of what all the stars he's interviewed have demanded are among the most fascinating tidbits, but his up-close observations of a slew of old-school stars who are no longer with us are what make his dishy book worth the price of admission. Get the deluxe color edition! PRE-ORDER HERE.

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May 16 2019
Calvin Klein Package Deals + de Blasio's Quixotic Prez Run + Austin Armacost Full Monty + Alabama Abortion Ban Signed + Britney Retiring? + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Fanye of light.

BELOW: Keep reading for Noah Centineo's package, the first known AIDS death (in 1969), a woman signing off on Alabama's abortion ban (and possibly signing Roe v. Wade's death certificate) and more  ...

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May 15 2019
Andy Velez, Internationally Known AIDS Activist, Dies @ 80 Comments (0)

Andy Velez best Bytsura(Image by Bill Bytsura/The AIDS Activist Project)

Andy Velez, a legendary activist in the struggle against AIDS whose show biz connections included associations with Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt and Barbara Cook, died yesterday at age 80 following complications from a severe fall in his home. Keep reading for full obit of this brave fighter ...

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May 10 2019
Drool Of A Kind + Buttigieg's Abbey Fundraiser + Giuliani Leans Into Treason + Jock Stoops To Conquer + Madonna's Got A CRAVE-ing + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Professional thirst trap.

BELOW: Keep reading for quite a pair, Buttigieg's approach, Giuliani's Ukrainian adventure and new Madonna ...

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May 06 2019
Madonna, Andy Cohen & More Honored At GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS; Queen Of Pop Urges Everyone To Give Back, But Never Give Up Comments (0)

IMG_1032Unyielding advocate for personal power and giving back (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

I bought my ticket for the 30th GLAAD Media Awards upon learning that Madonna would be honored there as a tireless Advocate for Change, a much-needed reboot of our appreciation for all she's done for LGBTQ people over the years.

I always cover the carpet, but figured she would not walk — and was right — so wanted to be sure I had a nice spot inside.

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IMG_4044Getting with the programs

In the meantime, sadly, one of my dogs has been caught in a life-or-death health battle, so I thought I'd have to pass up the awards. As it turned out, he was in good hands Saturday, so I was able to take a breath, Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 11.56.56 AMgo and enjoy a very memorable night.

Pictured with my longtime buddy Lav ->

I did the carpet with my old friend Peter Dee, who manned the Q&A part while I filmed. (It's Boy Culture, not Dad Culture.) I wore my familiar CK jacket but accessorized with a vintage Madonna purse to hold my video cam.

The carpet's always fun — you're stressed out that you don't deserve to be next to major news orgs, then overhear that they'd accidentally been recording their interviews on slow-mo, or that someone will IMG_4046hog too much time with the best gets, leaving you with the dregs, then find out the ones you really want have no problem circling back to you anyway.

My own snafu — my video sometimes records with all the audio pitched to one side, not stereo. And I can't figure it out. So watch our supercut of snippets from Shangela (she tackles MAYOchella), Gus Kenworthy (got to say hello to his boyf Matt Wilkas), May Hong of Tales of the City, the Pose cast, Trace Lysette and Alexandra Billings of Transparent, Yuval David (Madam Secretary), Jonathan Van Ness, Sonja Morgan, Adam Rippon, Benito Skinner and more ... but do so with one ear:

With the carpet behind me, I dashed inside to find I was seated at a great table, where I met the owners of the Stonewall Inn. (We also had a Jennifer Coolidge caricature at the table who was apparently a Trumper, as she loudly complained about a very pregnant Chelsea Clinton's passionate speech about tolerance.

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IMG_0966The dress was exquisitely, appropriately over-the-top-and-beyond ...

The show was one of GLAAD's best, with participation from the Pose cast, Rachel Brosnahan, and a hilarious presentation by Sarah Jessica Parker of the Vito Russo Award to Andy Cohen, who she teased for his younger wild ways. Shangela was a most capable hostess. One could even say she had the mostess.

I realized right away my camera gave me carte blanche, so I went from table to table getting lovely posed pics of Sarah Jessica Parker and Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen, Rosie O'Donnell and more.

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 1.26.24 AMI was thrilled with my SJP shots

When Madonna strolled into the banquet room about 25 minutes before her presentation and took a seat, shielding her eyes with red sunglasses, I did not hesitate. I was the first photographer to approach and politely ask for a shot. She turned her head and said, “Nope, nope, nope.” Asked and answered!

IMG_1134Yes, Madonna got teary-eyed.

Still, I was able to park by the stage, so I got excellent close-ups when she was affectionately lampooned by Shangela (in a cone bra) and celebrated by Anderson Cooper, Rosie O'Donnell and queer rapper Mykki Blanco. Taking the stage to the strains of her new empowerment anthem “I Rise,” Madonna gave a lovely, funny, bittersweet speech, in which she thanked Christopher Flynn, Keith Haring and her best friend Martin Burgoyne for helping to form her values, remembering through some tears the plague years, when she went to St. Vincent's and embraced dying men in their beds to give them humanity. 

Screen Shot 2019-05-06 at 1.16.54 AMAt Madonna's feet

She spoke of her refusal to turn her back on marginalized people, promising to never let her LGBTQ fans down.

IMG_1077The gays — including actual gay Gus Kenworthy & honorary gay SJP back there — watching Madonna speak

She was most emotional when talking about how her commitment to fighting AIDS led her to champion Malawi, from which she adopted four of her six kids.

IMG_1197Like it or not ...

For comedy, Madonna recalled making Truth or Dare and having had no idea it would inspire men to come out as gay, let alone suck off so many Evian bottles.

Best of all, Madonna delivered a rousing reminder that we need to be who we are, whether people like it or not. She raised two middle fingers as she made this evergreen pronouncement, which came minutes after she'd pledged $25,000 to GLAAD during an auction run by celebrity benefit auctioneer Erin Ward that evening.

Madonna's gratitude to gay men in particular (no mention of her gay, estranged bro Christopher Ciccone) was palpable, her wit was in good order and she was, as ever, unready to back down from anyone or anything.

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IMG_1208Wrapping up

I also loved her use of a James Baldwin quote about how we don't own anything, but are mere shepherds of our talents — and we owe it to everyone to give back.

All this, and she was 15 feet away from me!

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IMG_1259Madonna was feeling both Rosie and Shangela — and Shangela had made fun of her cone bra!

After that, she sneaked back through the stage and vanished, hand-in-hand with Rosie O'Donnell, but everyone else stayed and after-partied. She had, after all, told us in parting that Madame X is a freedom fighter, and a freedom fighter's work is never done.

Check out a chunk of Madonna's speech here:

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May 04 2019
Selfie Patrol + Zac's Wax-Off + de Blasio For ... Prez?! + Gillibrand Has $600 For You + LONGTIME COMPANION Remembered + MORE! — 12-PACK Comments (0)

ABOVE: Ain't Shawn Mendes the pits? Pssst: Watch his scorching-hot video here.

BELOW: Selfie-expression, waxin' it with Zac Efron, de Blasio thinks he will do well running for POTUS, Longtime Companion remembered and more ...

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Apr 27 2019
Michael Fesco, Creator Of Gay Spaces In NYC, On Fire Island Dies @ 83 Comments (0)

24fesco-diptych-jumbo(L) Fesco at a '70s party, and (R) as a dancer (Images via Estate of Michael Fesco)

Michael Fesco, the man behind such gay spaces as the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove on Fire Island, Flamingo in Soho and the Sea Tea gay cruises, died April 11 in Palm Springs, his friend Tony Powell confirmed. The cause was not given.

Check Out a List of Those We've Lost in 2019

Fesco, who had been a Broadway chorus boy, was so taken with NYC nightlife he decided to provide a more exclusively gay version, a vision that was successful for him and memorable for a generation (or two) of gay men, many of whom were seeking escape during the tumultuous birth of the modern gay-rights era and then from the scourge of AIDS.

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Apr 19 2019
Dress You Up: Check Out The Trailer For HALSTON Comments (0)

Unnamed(Image via Obscured Pictures)

Behold the chic, regal poster for Halston, a doc on the superstar designer directed by Frédéric Tcheng that will be screening at the Tribeca Film Festival ahead of a May 24 limited roll-out.

©Allan Tannenbaum_S54_Elizabeth Taylor  Halston  RockettesTwo greats with taste who went great together (© Allan Tannenbaum/Courtesy of Obscured Pictures)

Keep reading for the trailer — this one looks fashionably great ...

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// Fix responsive height for YouTube