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.

Queer dance band Tayisha Busay is one of three LGBT groups to release special Valentine's Day related music videos with its newest creation, "Heartmeat/Lovemuscle."

Band member Brandon Lalavek describes this slow jam is an "homage to our loves past and
present, as well as a defining moment as a band to learn how to breathe and let
a song flow."

The video features Lalavek attempting to
sign the words heartmeat and lovemuscle. This was added to the video after an
active deaf lesbian community in Washington D.C. requested the songs be
translated for a concert.

February 14 2012 3:41 PM

 Nearly two years ago, Army specialist Bradley Manning was arrested and charged with a series of crimes against the U.S. government, including leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks and aiding the enemy. The questions raised by the indefinite detention of a the gay soldier — who has been imprisoned in torturous conditions that violate the Geneva Convention — go to the heart of President Obama's expansion of Bush-era civil liberties violations, like the indefinite detentions of alleged enemy combatants at Guantanamo. Except Manning is not an enemy combatant but an American citizen. And since Manning himself says his actions were spurred by his outrage over the conditions in which he was forced to serve under "don't ask, don't tell," we must ask what impact Manning's sexual and gender orientation have had on his treatment.

As of press time, investigators had yet to make a determination whether to try Manning. Under a law signed by Obama he could be held as an enemy combatant indefinitely. If he is found guilty of treason, he could face the death penalty. Either way, Manning is already the victim of both the Obama administration's war on terror and its homophobic ideology.

It's no surprise that last year 250 legal scholars signed an open letter declaring Manning's treatment unconstitutional. He was kept in solitary confinement for nearly a year, in a constantly lit cell without a pillow, sheet, or window. He was forced to be naked for hours at a time and examined every morning. He was allowed only an hour a day of exercise, and if he stopped moving during that hour, he was returned to his cell. He was denied legal representation as well as visits or conversations with anyone, including military personnel and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who had made requests to visit with Manning.

But when Manning was transferred from maximum security at Quantico, Va.'s Marine brig to a medium-security facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., it was less about ending his torture and more of an indication that he is viewed as an enemy combatant rather than a member of the U.S. military. But Manning was not a spy; he was not working for a foreign government. As Michael Whitney of FireDogLake reported, more than 10 statements by the Pentagon referencing the move indicated that Manning would be detained at Leavenworth for an indeterminate period and that no trial was imminent.

His mental and psychological states have declined rapidly due to his treatment, and in all the celebration over the repeal of DADT, the case of Bradley Manning has faded into invisibility. Sadly, Manning, who was living as a gay man but had expressed a feeling that his gender identity might be female, may be out personally, but his case is the most closeted in recent U.S. military history.

Manning is the forgotten soldier, emblematic of the struggles queer service members face. Alone, attempting to figure out his sexual and gender identities (he spoke with a gender counselor days before he allegedly sent the documents to WikiLeaks), angered and frustrated by his own growing belief that there was no sense to military actions in either Iraq or Afghanistan, Manning was in crisis. Transcripts of emails between Manning and bisexual hacker Adrian Lamo indicate the panoply of emotions he was grappling with as he deliberated over leaking the documents.

February 14 2012 4:00 AM

Valentine’s Day can feel like a knife in the hearts of single people. The thought of entwined lovers filling the streets is enough to make you want to treat yourself to an entire pizza, bunker down underneath the covers and sob into your body pillow for the next 24 hours. To help you cope, we’ve asked some of our @Gaysayer comedians to share their insecure tales of romance and regret.


How Do You Keep The Romance Alive? 


“My dildo and I mix it up occasionally and invite people
Smith, @jamismithcomic



“I try to poop at work whenever possible.”
Raimondo, @mursebrianrn



“I pretend I'm Newt Gingrich and my wife has cancer and
they're my hot, understanding mistress (or mistrer).”
Travon Free,



“Cialis in his cereal.”
Lake, @dariennelake



“Keep paying the 4.95 per minute.”
Mackenroth, @jackmackenroth



“Like anything else on life support: paying thousands of
dollars to keep something alive that should be dead.”
Hooker, @wordsofahooker



“By installing a carbon monoxide detector in the basement
your boyfriend is locked in. And don't forget to feed him!”
Pete Beat,



“By not choking him out. Oh and Sade.”
Martindale, @justmartindale



“By covering my naked body in chocolate so when he gets home
and screams ‘Who are you get the fuck out of my house,’ I'll have something to
eat for the drive home.”
Zackary Ross, @zackblows 



“Pregnancy scares. It makes my wife feel virile.”
Lesbian, @laughinglesbian



“We have an open relationship with produce.”
Egert, @alisonisfunny

February 13 2012 5:45 PM

Nicki Minaj’s Grammy performance, full of Catholic imagery including the
depiction of an exorcism, means she may be demonically possessed, says an
ultraconservative Catholic activist.

February 13 2012 2:05 PM


Question: My boyfriend and I live together in Delaware, which legalized same-sex civil unions earlier this year. For years we’ve been talking – on and off — about making our relationship legal when we could. Instead of some fancy chocolates or a bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day, I think I’ve come up with a unique gift: asking him to marry me by posting a YouTube proposal on his Facebook page. What do you think?

February 13 2012 12:22 PM

Pedro Almodóvar
Director of The Skin I Live In

 Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar reunites with one of his greatest discoveries, Antonio Banderas, in this perversely hypnotic medical horror film that redefines the term "boy toy." At first it seems Almodóvar has lost his way, but he has a purpose. He deliberately and methodically rewards viewers' patience, seducing them before delivering astonishing — and often shocking — images.

February 13 2012 4:00 AM

What little gay boy hasn't lip-synched for his life to a Whitney Houston song? She was the mother of pop, clearing the way for Mariah, Celine, Christina, Adele, and many others. Whitney took the power ballad to cataclysmic heights — and it's a tell-tale sign of a pure songstress when it's not only difficult to sing her songs, but, as any drag queen will tell you, even lip-synching a Whitney Houston song is no easy task. With her intricate melodies, the signature phrasing and polished modulations, Whitney Elizabeth Houston was the voice.

Early last night, I was flooded with so many messages that I was sure there was a family emergency. I was stunned to hear Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48, on the eve of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Overwhelmed with sadness, I saw a flash of memories that are stamped in my mind along with Whitney's iconic music. Although her downward spiral was well documented, we awaited an official comeback.

After winning six Grammy awards, selling 170 million albums, and belting out some of the greatest songs of all time, Whitney Houston’s passing is an American tragedy. The 24-hours news channels are rightfully honoring the Newark, New Jersey native with videos, performances, and interviews.

It's like looking at an old friend when you see the former fashion model in the white, sequin spaghetti strap gown for 1986's "Greatest Love of All" video. Her natural beauty was striking paired with a voice that was otherworldly. As Barbra Streisand said just a few hours ago, “She had everything, beauty, a magnificent voice."

Whitney's infectious smile and bubbling charisma in 1987's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" video is a time capsule of a good time in the 1980s, which was a rough decade: HIV/AIDS, crack-cocaine, and President Ronald Reagan.

And the money-note in 1992's "I Will Always Love You" (written by Dolly Parton) video — when the beat drops and Whitney let's out the grandiose "I" — it's the greatest delivery of a single note ever recorded in pop music.

For the LGBT community, pop music in the 1980s wasn't just about a cute beat and big hair. This was a terrifying time, especially for gay men, who were being ravaged by HIV/AIDS. Songs like "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," "One Moment in Time," and "Love Will Save the Day" were the playlist for a horrific moment in the lives of gays. And while Whitney took a bashing from urban to mainstream press for not being "black" enough (a ridiculous insult that followed her for many years, in the end, she tore down the doors to make it OK for black female artists to crossover to pop: Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé) — she always had a loyal following with us. The LGBT community never judged her degree of blackness, but embraced every molecule of the voice.

Whitney Houston's gay fans are as fanatical as Lady Gaga's and Beyoncé's combined. We take our pop divas seriously and I've seen gay boys argue about Whitney as passionately as they argue for same-sex marriage. When the media highlighted her downfalls, mocked her addictions, and laughed at her notorious "Crack is whack" comment, the LGBT community never turned their back on Nippy, as her friends and family called her. Maybe it's because we, too, have been misunderstood. There was something relatable about her struggles that made the "Run to You" singer more endearing. 

February 12 2012 12:50 PM

James Gobel wanted his latest bear-centric work to be more cuddly. "An artwork that you could conceivably snuggle up to seemed a good place to start."

February 11 2012 4:00 AM


10.  DVD: Anonymous
Was Bill Shakespeare just an illiterate front for Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford? That’s the premise for this Elizabethan-era conspiracy theory thriller, which marks a change of pace for out director Roland Emmerich, noted for his end-of-the-world blockbusters like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. It’s glossy entertainment, and Vanessa Redgrave is a hoot as a spirited Queen Elizabeth, a role she shares with her daughter Nip/Tuck's Joely Richardson.


9. EVENT: A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power
Tony Award-winning performer Nathan Lane hosts an evening during which five storytellers, including Milk's Oscar winner-activist Dustin Lance Black and The Help's Octavia Spencer, will each share a personal tale of having faced bigotry or discrimination. The goal is to show the power of storytelling can promote greater tolerance and acceptance and the storytellers will explain how the bad experience ultimately had an impact on his/her identity. John Legend will perform at a party following the event at L.A.'s PDC February 15.  


8. DVD: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Replacing the quest for White Castle burgers with the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, John Cho and Kal Penn’s stoner-slacker comedy franchise returns for a merrily messy third installment, now on DVD, with power couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka as sexually fictionalized versions of themselves. The totally excellent adventure’s highlights — pun intended — include a Claymation hallucination and a big musical number led by Harris.

February 11 2012 3:42 AM