Arts & Entertainment

In the Arts & Entertainment section, The Advocate brings readers all the latest news on Hollywood, Broadway, and beyond. From New York to Los Angeles, The Advocate shines a spotlight on the stars of the screen who are lending their voices to support the LGBT community, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals who are moving the cultural needle. Discover A-list interviews, the best gay movies and reviews of theater, music, books and television. Learn how Arts & Entertainment can shape national dialogue and can work to advance equality.

Seth Rogen made a dig at singer Chris Brown and Brett Ratner, who was once set to produce the Academy Awards ceremony but pushed to quit after he used a homophobic slur in front of reporters.

While hosting the Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, Rogen said of the Rush Hour and Tower Heist director, "Without awards season we wouldn't know what a horrible bigot Brett Ratner is."

February 28 2012 3:45 PM

Chris Klucsaritis got to live a major part of his lifelong dream. As a professional wrestler, Klucsaritis was on television every week, in the ring playing a larger-than-life persona, Chris Kanyon. But outside of the ring, Klucsaritis struggled with his sexuality. Eventually, he came out in 2004 but was let go of his contract with the World Wrestling Entertainment shortly thereafter. Klucsaritis continued to vocalize the importance of being out and even teamed up with writer Ryan Clark to pen a memoir. Unfortunately, Klucsaritis did not live to see the book on shelves — he committed suicide in April 2010, a year before the Wrestling Reality’s release. Co-author Clark talks to The Advocate about his experience with Klucsaritis, and the complications of being a gay wrestler.

The Advocate: How did you come to find and want to write about Chris Kanyon?
Ryan Clark: I was a journalist for a local paper in Kentucky and I was going to cover a speech given by Chris, and this was National Coming Out Day, either four or five years ago, I can’t remember. We had heard in the paper that this guy had an interesting story, so we decided to cover the event for that day. I’ll tell you what, I sat there, and I am not a wrestling fan per se, and I’m not gay, but it was such a good story that I didn’t want to let it go. I felt like it could probably do a lot of good for a lot of people. I approached Chris and I asked him where his book was, and he kind of laughed, and said, “Well I’m working on a few things but nothing concrete.” So I gave him my business card and told him I’d like to throw my hat in the ring. So I wrote the story for the newspaper and I talked to his manager. And over the course of the next several months we kind of came to an agreement and it kind of went from there.

What were some of the main things that you learned from your experience with Chris?
One of the main things is that in many ways, people can relate to this story, because whether they are gay or not, we have all had a time when we have felt uncomfortable because we are a minority. Whether that is you are non-religious and you’re in a religious situation, or you’re gay and you’re afraid to come out, or you’re of a different race, and you’re a minority that way. Everybody can relate to the feeling of being afraid of being honest of some aspect of who they are. One of the themes of the book is that Chris wanted people to be honest with who they were, and to not go through what he went through for more than two decades and holding that in. Psychologically we’re not sure what that did to him over the course of his life. He just went through life, feeling paranoid, uncomfortable; you don’t wish that on anybody. He really wanted people to come out and be comfortable with who they are, because his own experience with coming out was a really good one. Another thing was that I learned a lot about the wrestling industry and how cutthroat it was, and how really antigay it is. Another thing that Chris wanted was an openly gay wrestling character. And they’re not ready for that. He hoped that it would be.

While he was wrestling, was he expressing his identity that way?
He did but he was afraid. He would be the first to tell you the ways he went about it weren’t the best. There was some confusion when he did come out, as to whether he was actually coming out, or whether he was playing a character. He made it vague on purpose, because he was afraid that if he did come out 100% in real life, as well as in his job, that he would be let go. And ultimately he was. I mean it's debatable, but the fact of the matter was that he came out and he was let go. Injuries may have played a role. But he came out, and he got released. He would have loved to be the first openly gay wrestler who was playing a gay character in the WWE, he would have loved that.

February 28 2012 4:00 AM

You can keep your Clooneys and Jolie-Pitts. Our favorite moments from last night’s ceremony come from the likes of Bill Maher, Wanda Sykes, Fortume Feimster, and the Gaysayer All Stars. For daily updates, join the more than 4,300 people who already follow @gaysayer on Twitter.

Here are some of our favorite jokes from last night’s show. The nominees for Best Tweet of the 2012 Academy Awards are…A post from your host:

February 27 2012 2:05 PM

Photos give us an eye into the past; Amos Mac is this eye for some. He's turned a passion for portraits into two different publications geared toward the transgender community.

Mac, born in Augusta, Ga., moved to Philadelphia with his single mother at 8-years-old. It was just Mac and his mom, he says. With three, older half-sisters who did not live at home, the age difference was so severe that it was like growing up as an only child. And being an “only” child allowed Mac to explore his creative side. His mother took him to art museums and was always taking photos.

“I would look through those all the time as a child,” Mac said, “and wonder what it was like when the photo was taken.”

February 27 2012 4:00 AM

Question: I’ve been reading that the Girl Scouts are taking some big heat from “severe” conservatives like Bob Morris, the Indiana representative, who claims the group is a "radicalized organization" that "sexualizes" young girls and promotes homosexuality. It really got my goat when Morris wrote in an open letter: “Many parents are abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles,” then further derided the organization because it accepts transgender young people. These ridiculous allegations anger me and I’d like to do something.

February 27 2012 4:00 AM

In a night dominated by The Artist, which won five of the 10 Academy Awards that it was nominated for, there were a few wins for LGBT cinema fans. Christopher Plummer won his first Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in Beginners, by director Mike Mills.

February 27 2012 12:20 AM

Every week, The Advocate's Jami Smith brings you the top 10 tweets from LGBT comedians — and our favorite gay jokes from straight comedians, or just whatever made us laugh. For daily updates, join the more than 4,300 people who already follow @gaysayer on Twitter.And now, a post from your host:

3:05 PM

Just in time for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, some enterprising feminist number crunchers have come up with some cold hard facts: in all that time, only four women have been nominated for a best directing Oscar. The women behind IndieWire's Women and Hollywood blog have come up with a video celebrating the women who should have been considered for a best directing nod this year, and a surprising number of them are lesbian or bisexual.

2:30 PM

Justine Sarceran is the author of Sarah, Son of God, the tale of a transgender person in Venice. She explains why her fifth novel of historical fiction was inspired, in part, by her unusual attraction to comedian Eddie Izzard.  

“So, I’ve got breasts!” British comic Eddie Izzard exclaimed as he came on stage, glancing down at his red satin bustier. The remark led into a riff about being a transvestite. Pointing to the new concavity at his midsection, he quipped, “Friends ask if I’ve lost weight. I say, ‘Noooo, I’ve got tits!’” The rest of his costume, miniskirt, tights, six-inch heels, and an 18th century gentleman’s coat, showed that it was not female impersonation, but his own gender-bending style. And he looked smashing.

In his show Sexie, he appeared with pixie-like blond hair and artfully mascaraed eyes, a shining angel of witty perversity. Moreover, the breasts often stayed with him on the street and in television interviews. For all that, he won the adoration of countless fans of all sexual orientations who, as his manager said, “want to mother him, love him, fuck him, care for him.” I could relate.

As a self-avowed "male lesbian," Eddie is but one coordinate on the wide landscape of sexual identities, and while gender bending onstage is not the same thing as the life-changing transgender experience, his humor and charm went a long way toward making  transgender issues less scary to millions of people. Because, let’s face it, crossing those gender lines turns some people on but it makes other people want to kill you, so it needs all the PR it can get.

Inspired by the mystery of Eddie, and the curious urges it stirred in me, I spent a year brooding on the trans experience, separating what was off-putting from what was on-turning, and to whom. At the end, I had a novel to show for it, Sarah, Son of God, with a transgender heroine any lesbian could love.


February 25 2012 4:15 PM

Who cares if you can't make it to the red carpet in Hollywood? The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has created an Oscar-themed Party Kit that you can download to have a delightfully queer Academy Awards bash in your own home. Now's time to remember that the awards have often honored films (from Milk to Boys Don't Cry and The Color Purple) that move us forward in the search for equality. Hopefully the 84th Academy Awards will do the same. The kit, which you can download at  here, offers trivia, games, and LGBT movie themed cocktails and mocktails. Here are a few of our faves.

Albert’s Nobb (based on the cross-dressing main character in Albert Nobbs)
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash Angostura® bitters
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

Directions: Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey, and bitters with two to three ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir gently, don't bruise the spirits and cloud the drink. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry. Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils but don't drop it in.

February 25 2012 1:40 PM